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Cruise norovirus: Video shows sick bug hit Royal Caribbean ship | Travel News | Travel

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A total of 9,000 passengers are on board the plush vessel, with a section falling ill to the winter stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhoea. The ship was transporting guests to the sunshine hotspot of Jamaica from Florida and a spokesperson has confirmed its route will now end early. After the illness was flagged to staff, they put a ban on passengers leaving the vessel as they drafted in emergency medication. A huge sanitisation process was underway almost immediately, with cruise ship employees spraying down communal areas as it docked in Falmouth, on the northern side of Jamaica.

Its passengers, who are in the midst of a seven day cruise around the Caribbean islands, have now taken to social media to document the efforts and praise the reaction of the company.

Twitter user Mathew Michael, who is currently on board, told how the crew were doing an “A star” job.

He documented their efforts in a short video, uploaded alongside the caption: “At this rate the ship will be spic n’ span by Sunday night.

“I believe they called this level 3- alpha alpha alpha alert on the loud speaker – the entire #RoyalCaribbean crew is doing an awesome job, A+.”

He then added the jokey tagline: “Who ya gonna call, germ busters,” and an emoji icon.

The scenes on his video showed staff working together to spray the floors of the guest areas.

They can be seen getting down on their hands and knees to make sure all areas are covered, while carrying a big container of infection-busting fluid with them.

Another cruise passenger took to the social media site to share their experiences, and put: “Reality is people are still having fun.

“Workers visibly cleaning every surface. Stop trying to blow this up. @RoyalCaribbean handling this well.”

Another added: “100% agree. We haven’t seen a single sick person and Royal Caribbean is handling this amazingly well.

“Not a surface goes more than a few minutes without being sanitized. Well done RC!”

Following the illness outbreak, it has been confirmed the cruise route will switch up and finish a day early.

A spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “Oasis of the Seas will return to Port Canaveral a day early after an episode of gastrointestinal illness.

“A total of 277 guests and crew members have been affected since the ship departed on Jan 6 — about 3.3 percent of the people aboard the ship.

“All of the ship’s guests will receive full refunds of their cruise fare paid.

“We think the right thing to do is to get everyone home early rather than have guests worry about their health.

“Returning on Saturday also gives us more time to completely clean and sanitize the ship before her next sailing.”

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Travel & Escape

American woman faces $2,800 parking bill after leaving car in Toronto during pandemic

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Parking in the city can be costly, but one American woman is learning just how bad it can be after being unable to retrieve her car for nearly a year.

Detroit resident Kim Richardson left her 2004 Honda Element at the Park2Sky lot by Pearson airport in March 2020 before flying out to Europe for a medical procedure. She originally planned to retrieve it within two weeks but partway through her trip, the Canada-US border got closed due to COVID-19 precautions.

Richardson’s return flight was rerouted to Detroit and she’s been unable to return to Toronto since.

What was originally a $100 bill has now inflated to $2,800 as the lot’s owner says he has a business to operate and is owed payment for 11 months of storage. However, Richardson believes she’s being extorted for an issue beyond her control.

Park2Sky personnel claim that several Americans who found themselves in similar predicaments have had their cars shipped home.

“I don’t understand, I don’t know what’s going on here. Business is down, I’m not making any money at all. People who leave their car are paid. She’s the only one that hasn’t paid,” said the owner to CBC News this week.

The stalemate is expected to last a while longer as travel restrictions remain in place and Ontario Provincial Police have said they won’t get involved in a civil matter.

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All systems are go for St. Lawrence Cruise Lines in 2021

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KINGSTON — Despite Canada’s newly extended cruise ship ban, Canadians still have a small-ship cruising alternative in 2021 with St. Lawrence Cruise Lines.

The small-ship operator, which sails on the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers, has confirmed operations for 2021, with overnight cruises on both rivers from May 20 to Oct. 24. A variety of cruises ranging from four to seven nights will depart from Kingston, Ottawa and Quebec City, sailing exclusively in domestic waters with stops at select ports in Ontario and Quebec.

On Feb. 4, Canada’s Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra announced that Canada’s cruise ship ban will be extended until Feb. 28, 2022. This measure, which effectively prohibits cruise vessels carrying more than 100 passengers from operating in Canadian waters, does not impact the small-ship operations of St. Lawrence Cruise Lines and its 32-stateroom CANADIAN EMPRESS.

“We are excited to offer travellers a small ship option for the 2021 season,” said President Jason Clark. “Our overnight cruises stay close to shore in Canadian waters and our COVID-19 Health and Safety program has been recognized for its high standards.”

This past December, the cruise line was awarded the Safe Travels Stamp by the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) for adherence to global standards of health and hygiene. The program includes a wide range of safety measures, including reduced passenger loads, masking, physical distancing and hospital-grade electrostatic disinfecting for both private staterooms and shared spaces. Plus, all staterooms have access to fresh air, climate controls and views of the river.

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Here’s How Canada’s ‘Screening Officers’ Will Check On Travellers During Quarantine

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The federal government is reminding all travellers in Canada that “Screening Officers” may pay them a visit post-arrival.

In a statement about the country’s latest travel restrictions, Transport Canada confirmed that newly-trained officials would be tasked with checking up on travellers during their two-week quarantine period.

The role of the Screening Officers will be to visit travellers’ quarantine locations to “establish contact, confirm identify and confirm that travellers are at the place of quarantine they identified upon entry into Canada.”

This is to make sure individuals are complying with Canada’s mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement.

The checks will be conducted across 35 Canadian cities, having already started in Montreal and Toronto back in January.

The officials will provide “compliance education” and will be able to issue verbal warnings, but stronger enforcement action will be referred to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and then law enforcement for follow-up checks. 

Failing to comply with the Quarantine Act or with Screening Officers’ instructions could result in fines of up to $750,000 or even jail time.

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