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Cruise ship takes to sea again after idling 18 months
The 'Grand Princess' that stranded thousands of passengers for days off the California coast in one of the nation’s first cruise ship coronavirus outbreaks, returned to sea Sep 25, 2021, for the first time in 18 months. She departed from the Port of Los Angeles for a five-day cruise to Cabo San Lucas as part of a phased effort by the nation’s cruise companies to relaunch the $150-billion industry after a historic shutdown. The ship idled off the coast of San Francisco for several days in early March 2020 as public health officials and the cruise company deliberated over how to address an onboard coronavirus outbreak. At least 21 people on the ship tested positive for COVID-19. A week earlier, a 75-year-old passenger from a previous cruise had become California’s first COVID-19 fatality, marking a major turning point in the state’s battle with the coronavirus. As part of the new health protocols on the 'Grand Princess', all passengers will be required to show proof of a full COVID-19 vaccination before boarding and proof of a negative viral test, taken within two days of their departure date. The crew will be vaccinated, and the first few cruises will be limited to no more than 75 percent of the ship’s 2,600-person capacity. Passengers will be required to wear masks in places such as elevators, retail stores, the casino and before being seated in the main dining room and the buffet area. The ship’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system has been upgraded with filters designed to remove fine particles and bacteria, and some units will include ultraviolet light treatment systems to kill viruses in recirculated air.
Federal judge has dismissed lawsuits of passengers
A federal judge has dismissed lawsuits by 'Grand Princess' passengers who sued for emotional distress caused by their fear of exposure to COVID-19, saying that allowing their cases to proceed would “lead to a flood of trivial suits.” Judge Gary Klausner in Los Angeles said in his ruling on July 15 that allowing passengers to collect damages based on potential COVID-19 exposure without suffering symptoms raised concerns of unlimited liability for restaurants and other businesses. Debi Chalik, a lawyer for passengers Ronald and Eva Weissberger, said she was disappointed with the ruling and might appeal.
Crew members disembarked in Los Angeles
Princess Cruises disembarked more than 100 crew members from the 'Star Princess', 'Grand Princess' and 'Royal Princess' on April 14 in Los Angeles. Passengers aboard the 'Grand Princess', which had coronavirus cases on board, were let off the ship in early March, in Oakland, but crew members remained on the ship. The 'Star Princess' and 'Royal Princess' were not included in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's list of cruise ships on where passengers could have been infected with coronavirus. The crew used tender boats between their home ships to board the 'Royal Princess', and then the vessel came into the port to disembark them. 101 crew members left from Los Angeles International Airport on a charter flight to Mexico. None of the crew on the charter flight were sick. The same day, the 'Royal Princess' and the 'Seven Seas Mariner' were in port in Los Angeles to refuel and restock. The 'Grand Princess' was off of Point Fermin, which is located in San Pedro, a community within the city of Los Angeles. It was unclear how many crew members remained on board the 'Grand Princess' and 'Star Princess' and whether any were ill with coronavirus symptoms. There were originally 1,111 crew members on board the 'Grand Princess'. The 'Star Princess' can hold 1,100 crew members. More than 3,500 people on board the 'Grand Princess' for a Hawaii voyage were potentially exposed to COVID-19, a revelation that came to light in early March after a 71-year-old man died from the coronavirus after sailing on the ship's previous voyage. More than 60 passengers from that trip stayed aboard for the second voyage. The ship docked in Oakland, California, on March 9 after reporting 21 coronavirus cases. Before it docked, the 'Grand Princess' was kept at sea for several days before being allowed back into port. At least 103 people who were on the ship tested positive for the coronavirus, and two have died. Over the course of several days, passengers were let off the ship in groups. Passengers were then spread between four military bases in California, Texas and Georgia to complete a two-week quarantine.News schreiben