SINGAPORE: All guests aboard a Dream Cruises ship would have to undergo a COVID-19 test, after a passenger tested positive for the coronavirus on board, said the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) on Wednesday (Jul 14).
Contact tracing was under way, with disembarkation to start when contact tracing for the positive case was completed, said STB's cruise director Annie Chang.
Close contacts of the COVID-19 case would be issued quarantine orders.
"As a further precautionary measure, all passengers are also required to monitor their health for 14 days from the date of disembarkation and undergo a swab test at a designated government swabbing facility at the end of the monitoring period," she said.
Passengers would only be allowed to leave Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore after a mandatory antigen rapid test (ART) alongside the ship's crew, who already undergo regular routine testing every seven days.
Further deep-cleaning will also be carried out on the ship, said Ms Chang.
FREE CRUISE FOR ALL GUESTS
In an announcement made by the captain of the ship at 2pm on Wednesday, guests were informed that they would receive a free cruise on the World Dream "based (their) current booking".
The free cruise letter would be issued within the next 14 days, said the captain.
READ: 'Not really that bad': World Dream passengers wait to disembark ship after suspected COVID-19 case detected on board
In an announcement at 4pm, the captain confirmed that the suspected case was COVID-19-positive, and said that disembarkation was expected to start on Wednesday evening, subject to approval by the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Those identified as close contacts of the COVID-19 case would disembark via a separate route and gangway from all other guests, he said.
Guests would receive a health advisory note on post-disembarkation protocol from MOH, along with an identification sticker with their personal details for post-cruise testing at the terminal.
They would also be informed should there by any delay in disembarking, with meals provided during their stay.
The World Dream cruise ship, which was carrying 1,646 passengers and 1,249 crew members, left Singapore last Sunday at 9pm for a four-day "cruise to nowhere".
It returned to the Marina Bay Cruise Centre at around 6.30am on Wednesday after a passenger on board tested preliminarily positive for COVID-19. The passenger was identified as a close contact of a confirmed case on land.
As of noon on Wednesday, Singapore had reported 56 new locally transmitted COVID-19 infections, of which 41 belong to a KTV lounge cluster.