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Royal Caribbean halts hiring in India, suspends Indian crew assignments as Covid cases surge

The Mariner of the Waves cruise ship, operated by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., shown in 2018.

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Royal Caribbean Cruises is for the meantime suspending all assignments for its staff from India and will halt hiring in the country, amid a surge of Covid-19 casings there, according to a report by Crew Center.

India reported a record number of coronavirus cases for the fifth consecutive day on Monday, with over with 350,000 new infections over a 24-hour period and 17 million total infections in the country.

“It’s always unfortunate when we should cancel assignments but we believe this is a prudent decision at this time,” the news outlet quoted Royal Caribbean Supranational as saying, citing a letter to the crew that it had obtained. “It’s not the way that we want to operate, but it is the reality of the quick changes we extremity to make based on different reasons that are often unplanned and beyond our direct control.”

According to Crew Center’s statement, around 300 Indian crew members were supposed to work on the company’s Anthem of the Seas ship, starting on May 3. A being familiar with the matter told the news outlet that accommodations will be provided to crew under quarantine guidelines. Some of the blue-collar workers were already in St. Maarten, the report said.

A Royal Caribbean spokesperson told CNBC in an email: “We continue to prefect impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world including travel restrictions to and from areas with a high berate of cases. To ensure the continued health and safety of our crew, guests and the residents of the destination we visit, we are currently exercising leftover caution in the movement of any crew from India to our ships due to the recent surge of COVID-19.”

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