David Oliver, USA TODAY
Published 9:35 a.m. ET April 3, 2020 | Updated 10:59 a.m. ET April 3, 2020
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A crew member has died on the Celebrity Infinity cruise ship, and two crew members were airlifted off of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, USA TODAY has confirmed. Both ships were cleared of guests amid the cruise lines suspending all operations due to concerns about the coronavirus. Crew members, however, remain onboard.
“We can confirm a fatality on Celebrity Infinity,” Royal Caribbean spokesperson Jonathon Fishman stated. Royal Caribbean is the parent company of Celebrity Cruises. The cruise line has previously said passengers on the ship exhibited flu-like symptoms, but the company has not yet confirmed whether the illnesses were linked to the new coronavirus.
Fishman also said two crew members were evacuated from the Oasis of the Seas ship “for medical reasons.” All guests on both ships have disembarked.
The Infinity is waiting off Florida’s west coast, and the Oasis of the Seas is positioned off Broward County’s shores.
Earlier this week, a crew member was evacuated from Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas.
“We are focused on the health and well-being of our crew who are our foremost priority,” Fishman said. “In accordance with our health and safety protocols, crew members who exhibited influenza-like symptoms have been examined by our medical staff and have been asked to self-isolate in their cabins under medical observation.”
Royal Caribbean Cruises and Celebrity Cruises have docked their global fleets until May 11, a month later than the date the Miami-based companies originally gave for operation suspension.
Royal Caribbean cited “global public health circumstances” as the reason for the suspension extension in a statement posted on its official Twitter account and on its website.
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Celebrity Cruises followed suit “given the gravity of the public health crisis confronting the world,” the cruise line announced on Twitter.
“We have decided to extend the suspension of our global cruise operations through May 11th, and suspend our Alaska sailings through July 1st,” Celebrity Cruises said in a statement. Canada New England, Celebrity Millennium and Celebrity Solstice will also be suspended through July.
Contributing: Morgan Hines and Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY; Associated Press
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2020/04/03/coronavirus-cruise-employee-dies-2-royal-caribbean-workers-airlifted/2938721001/
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