A Carnival cruise ship that departed Miami has "a small number" of people aboard who have tested positive for COVID-19, and it has been denied entry to ports at two Caribbean islands, the cruise line said.
However, the Carnival Freedom ship will be allowed to visit Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic on Friday, company spokesperson AnneMarie Mathews said in a prepared statement.
"Carnival Freedom is following all protocols and has a small number on board who are in isolation due to a positive COVID test," Mathews' statement reads.
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"Our protocols anticipate this possibility, and we implement them as necessary to protect the health and safety of our guests and crew. This is a vaccinated cruise, and all guests were also tested before embarkation," the statement reads.
The Carnival Freedom departed Miami on December 18 and stopped in Curacao on Tuesday. Its planned stops at the Caribbean islands of Bonaire on Wednesday and Aruba on Thursday were cancelled.
Those stops were replaced by Friday's stop in the Dominican Republic, and the ship will return to Miami as planned on Sunday, the cruise line said.
Carnival and many other cruise lines require passengers to be fully vaccinated against COVID -19, with some exceptions for children.
The cruise line is working closely with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health authorities at the destination it visits, according to the statement.
"The rapid spread of the Omicron variant may shape how some destination authorities view even a small number of cases, even when they are being managed with our vigorous protocols," Mathews' statement reads. "Some destinations have limited medical resources and are focused on managing their own local response to the variant.
"Should it be necessary to cancel a port, we will do our best to find an alternative destination.