Cunard Line’s Queen Elizabeth has crew members on board who have tested positive for the coronavirus, the cruise line confirmed Wednesday. The cruise line did not say how many crew members tested positive.
“We have detected a small number of Covid-19 cases amongst crew members joining Queen Elizabeth,” Cunard president Simon Palethorpe told USA TODAY in a statement.
No passengers are on board, and the ship is not due to sail with passengers until July 19.
The Carnival Corp. subsidiary is working with Southampton Port Health and has taken steps to “successfully contain the situation,” including limiting the number of additional crew members coming aboard, putting in place approved isolation measures and contact tracing.
“We have comprehensive health and wellbeing procedures in place to protect all on board, which have been developed with guidance from our global medical, public health and industry experts and in close coordination with Government departments,” Palethorpe said.
Cunard did not share medical details of the crew, including whether they had been vaccinated. The BBC reported that the ship has about 800 crew members on board. According to Cunard’s website, the Queen Elizabeth can carry just over 2,000 passengers and 1,000 crew members.
According to government guidance, only domestic cruises are allowed in the U.K. during its third step in the path to cruising’s resumption after it was shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic last year. By July 19, the U.K. is expected to reach its fourth step, lifting social distancing and capacity restrictions. Right now, only up to 1,000 passengers, or 50% of capacity, are allowed on board domestic cruises – limit that doesn’t apply to the crew.