“Serology tests showed that both cases had antibodies from a previous recovered infection of COVID-19,” Queensland Health said in a statement on Monday afternoon. “They are no longer infectious.”
A Queensland Health spokeswoman separately confirmed that the 20 people on board were all crew members, after Health Minister Yvette D’Ath stated last week that 14 had been guests.
London-based broker Burgess Yachts, which manages the charter vessel, said there had been no guests on board since September.
Last week, Ms D’Ath denounced those on board for a lack of co-operation with police, a claim disputed by the captain, who said they had done nothing wrong and that two people on board had previously been cleared of the virus.
A statement issued on behalf of the vessel on Thursday said a crew member who returned a negative test before flying out from the UK to meet the yacht in the Maldives later tested positive after arriving in the capital, Male.
“Some” other crew members also tested positive in Male during a subsequent round of testing, with all going into onshore quarantine for 14 days, the statement said. They then returned negative tests on December 5 before leaving for Australia.
On Monday, Queensland Health said anyone who returned a positive test was interviewed and tested further to understand the circumstances of their infection, given the potential to shed the virus long after a person stops being infectious.
All other crew members from the ship have returned negative test results but will see out the 14-day quarantine.
A Queensland police spokeswoman said their investigation into the yacht’s arrival was continuing.
The reclassification brings Queensland’s total number of active COVID-19 cases to 13, with five reported among returned overseas travellers in hotel quarantine on Monday being managed by health services on the Gold and Sunshine coasts.
The Lady E was sold to an unnamed Burgess Yachts client in 2018 and relocated to the Asia region, sailing under a Cayman Islands flag.
In 2011, Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder bought the yacht – then named Lady Anne – which he renamed Lady S, The Washington Post reported at the time. It was then named the Lady E after the 2018 purchase.
Six metres were added to the Lady E’s length as part of the recent year-long refit, along with a wellness centre and upgrades to its “acres of luxurious deck space”, ahead of a return to the seas in September, according to the Burgess Yachts website.
Charters were advertised in Australia from the end of January, then in New Zealand in February and March in time for the America’s Cup. The weekly hire cost starts at about $783,000.
Matt Dennien is a reporter with Brisbane Times.