An 83-year-old Singaporean passenger aboard a “cruise to nowhere” has re-tested negative for Covid-19 after a false positive halted the voyage, Singapore’s Ministry of Health said Thursday.
The man had initially tested positive for the virus while aboard the Quantum of the Seas, operated by Royal Caribbean International.
That test has now been deemed negative, Singaporean authorities said in a statement.
The ship was hosting a three-night, four-day “cruise to nowhere” itinerary around Singapore, as part of a program to reinvigorate domestic travel in Singapore amid Covid-19.
The man’s close contacts were quarantined while a number of passengers and crew were forced to stay on board while contact tracing occurred.
“We have rescinded the Quarantine Orders of his close contacts, who had earlier been placed on quarantine as a precautionary measure while investigations were ongoing,” the statement read.
Royal Caribbean will compensate passengers on the Quantum of the Seas cruise for the day of travel that they missed, the cruise line said.
A planned sailing departing on December 10 has been canceled. Now that all passengers have disembarked, the ship is being deep cleaned and disinfected, according to Royal Caribbean’s news release.
The original positive test prompted the cruise line to inform Singaporean officials of the news and return to port.
The man was taken to a hospital in Singapore. The remaining 1,679 passengers and 1,148 crew members were tested for coronavirus, even if they were not in direct contact with the infected passenger.
“We worked closely with the government to develop a thorough system that tests and monitors all guests and crew and follows public health best practices,” a Royal Caribbean representative said. “That we were able to quickly identify this single case and take immediate action is a sign that the system is working as it was designed to do.”
“The well-being and safety of our local community, as well as passengers and crew remain a top priority. All passengers undergo a mandatory Covid-19 test prior to boarding, with stringent hygiene and safety measures implemented throughout their passenger journey,” the representative added.
The ship was operating at 50% capacity. All passengers had to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test in order to board and wear masks at all times when outside their staterooms.
Only Singaporean citizens were allowed to buy tickets for the cruise, and crew members from around the world spent 14 days quarantining in the city-state in order to be cleared for working.
As an extra hygiene measure, fresh air was regularly cycled throughout the ship, Royal Caribbean said.
The Quantum of the Seas debuted in 2015 to much fanfare. On-board amenities include bumper cars, a bionic bar with iPad ordering, a skydiving simulator and 19 restaurants, including one with an “Alice in Wonderland” theme. It cost $1 billion to build and outfit.
CNN’s Angus Watson contributed to this report.