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Royal Caribbean has canceled four incoming cruises to Cozumel due to the new COVID-19 outbreak

Royal Caribbean has canceled four incoming cruises to Cozumel due to the new COVID-19 outbreak

The photo was taken with a drone showing the cruise ship Adventure of the Seas, upon arrival at Cozumel Island in Quintana Roo (Mexico). EFE / Haider Castillo / Archive

Once again, the cruise company Royal Caribbean International (RCI) has decided to cancel some of its scheduled routes to Mexico, due to a new outbreak of COVID-19.. These are four ships, at least two of which are supposed to have scheduled their arrival at Cozumel, in the state of Quintana Roo, in the Mexican Caribbean.

These two ships, called the Jewel of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas, scheduled to depart on Sunday and Monday respectively, have been frozen. So Cozumel missed a total of four arrivals, two per ship.

It was also announced that the so-called Symphony of the Seas would be reactivated until next January 29, while the Jewel of the Seas will be operating again until February 20. On the other hand, as a precaution, Royal Caribbean has also suspended operations of another cruise called Vision of the Seas, from January 7 to March 7, as well as the Serenade of the Seas, which was canceled from January 8 to March 5. .

“Due to the conditions related to COVID-19 worldwide, and taking precautionary measures, Royan Caribbean International has temporarily halted operations,” said a statement from the company, which lists the four cruise ships affected.

In addition, RCI warned in due course that due to the pandemic, all flights offered may be changed without prior notice.

(Photo: Reuters/Paola Chiumanti)
(Photo: Reuters/Paola Chiumanti)

It should be remembered that the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, to which Cozumel belongs, is still yellow for the federal government’s epidemic traffic light, as of January 10, due to an increase in virus infections in the entity. According to the figures reported by the Ministry of Health, 46% more positive cases were reported on the island, so the same government department implemented restrictive measures on the tourist side.

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Mexico has already passed 4 million infections and is close to 300,000 deaths confirmed by COVID-19. The sources of infection, at the time, were in tourist destinations such as Baja California Sur, in the northwest, and Quintana Roo, in the Caribbean, which remained open to travelers without any restrictions.

This Christmas, the boardwalk of La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur which was closed to pedestrians at the beginning of the pandemic, was full of tourists and the beautiful beaches in the area were full.

In Los Cabos, where major international tourist resorts are located, hotels accounted for 75% of their capacity in the 25th week, according to the Federal Tourism Secretariat.

“In December, tourism rose dramatically,” said Israel Coto, manager of a hotel restaurant in the town of La Ventana, about 35 kilometers southeast of La Paz. People are tired of being locked up.”

Infection has also risen dramatically. According to federal government data, on December 29, 700 cases were exceeded in the state versus July’s historic maximum of 580.

(Photo: Reuters/Paola Chiumanti)
(Photo: Reuters/Paola Chiumanti)

At the other end of the country, Quintana Roo, where Cancun and the Riviera Maya are located, a strong increase was also recorded, going from 27 cases on December 20 to 484 infections eight days later, although the maximum of 574 has not yet been reached. last August.

“This new variant (Omicron) is highly contagious, but fortunately does not require hospitalization and there are no increasing deaths,” President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday.

Mexico recorded the worst moment of the pandemic a year ago, when hospitals were unable to supply and deaths from COVID-19 exceeded 1,400 per day, although many remained unconfirmed with a test.

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However, the number of infections was much higher in the summer wave, which peaked in August with more than 25,000 infections in a single day – now around 10,000.

The country did not at any time close its borders or impose mandatory COVID tests on tourists arriving by air, although they had to fill out a health questionnaire and at many airports and entry points there were personnel to take their temperature. The only restrictions were overland at the US border, which was closed to non-essential travel until last November.

Cotto considered the return of tourists to beaches like the one he is working on as positive in the south of the Baja California peninsula and on the shores of the Sea of ​​Cortez, but acknowledged that there were fears of a spike in infections. “There is a little tension,” he said. “The vaccine helped a little create certainty, but still.”

Daniela Yepez, who works as a fashion designer in La Paz, explained that the residents’ caution began to be noticed this New Year’s weekend. After the Christmas week blossomed on the 31st, many appointments were canceled. “People stopped coming,” he commented.

According to the Minister of Health, Jorge Alcoser, recent studies seem to indicate that although there are new variants, thanks to the effect of vaccines, the virus can become dormant until it has effects similar to those of the common cold. However, he stressed that this is only a hypothesis at the moment.

88% of Mexican adults are vaccinated and the third dose has already been initiated in the elderly, health personnel and educators.

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