Thousands of passengers detained on cruise lines after Omicron outbreak feared

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The luxury cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum of the Seas had to be canceled (Image: AP / EPA / AFP)

A Hong Kong luxury cruise was canceled after nine passengers were linked to a recent coronavirus outbreak.

Thousands of passengers were held on board this morning while waiting for test results because they feared the Omicron variant would spread.

A government statement said authorities returned a day early on Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum of the Seas ship, which began a voyage to nowhere on Saturday.

Nine passengers were identified as close contacts to an infected patient from a new Omicron cluster.

Royal Caribbean said in a statement that linked guests were immediately isolated and all tested negative.

The company added it was working closely with authorities to follow guidelines and regulations aimed at preventing Covid-19.

Hong Kong authorities have locked several buildings related to Omicron outbreaks to prevent the coronavirus from spreading across the city.


The “nowhere cruise” had to return to Hong Kong a day early (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Thousands of passengers were detained on board this morning while awaiting test results (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

The clusters emerged after several Cathay Pacific airline crew members broke isolation rules and visited restaurants and bars before testing positive for the Omicron variant.

Royal Caribbean said guests aboard the affected ship would receive a 25% refund of their fare.

The ship’s next voyage tomorrow was also canceled as the crew had to undergo further tests. These guests receive a full refund.

Hong Kong also has banned flights from the UK and seven other countries amid coronavirus fear.

From Saturday, flights from Great Britain, the USA, Canada, Australia, Pakistan, the Philippines, France and India will be blocked for two weeks.

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