According to Cruise Industry News, “MSC Cruises is preparing for a potential restart this summer in the Mediterranean and is waiting on final approvals to have the Grandiosa and Magnifica start seven-day cruises.
The MSC Grandiosa will offer seven-night cruises in the Western Mediterranean and MSC Magnifica will serve the East Mediterranean, according to a press release.
Their actual departure dates will be determined in accordance with the guidelines received by the relevant authorities.”
Per the MSC Cruises website, the company states, “health and safety will always be our top priority. In addition to the already rigorous attention to hygiene on board all of our ships, MSC Cruises is taking additional steps to protect our guests and crew to ensure that you are able to cruise with confidence on your next cruise vacation with us.”
The cruise line outlines their Cruise with Confidence policy here.
New Health Protocols:
1. Universal health screening of guests prior to embarkation that comprises three comprehensive steps: a temperature check, a health questionnaire and a COVID-19 swab test. Depending on the screening results and according to the guest’s medical or travel history, a secondary health screening or testing will take place. Any guest who tests positive, displays symptoms or a temperature will be denied boarding. Following guidelines from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, guests traveling from countries categorized as high risk will be required to take a molecular RT-PCR test, to be done within 72 hours prior to joining the ship. All crew members will be tested for COVID-19 prior to embarkation as well as regularly during their contract.
2. Elevated sanitation and cleaning measures supported by the introduction of new cleaning methods, the use of hospital-grade disinfectant products and the sanitation of the air on board with UV-C light technology that kills 99.97% of microbes.
3. Social distancing will be enabled through the reduction of the overall capacity of guests on board, allowing for more space for guests, approximately 10 m² (about 108 sq. ft) per person based on 70% overall capacity. Venue capacity will be reduced, activities will be modified to allow for smaller groups and guests should pre-book services and activities to manage guest numbers. When social distancing is not possible, guests will be asked to wear a face mask, for instance in lifts. Face masks will be provided daily to guests in their cabins and will be available around the ship.
4. Enhanced medical facilities and services with highly qualified staff trained, the necessary equipment to test, evaluate and treat suspected COVID-19 patients and the availability of free treatment at the onboard Medical Center for any guest with symptoms. Dedicated isolation cabins will be available to enable isolation of any suspected cases and close contacts.
5. Ongoing health monitoring will be conducted throughout the cruise. Guests and crew will have their temperature checked daily either when they return from ashore or at dedicated stations around the ship to monitor the health status of every guest and crew member. During this initial phase of operations, as a further enhanced measure of protection and to avoid risks to the health of guests and their fellow cruisers, guests will only go ashore as part of an organized MSC Cruises’ excursion. This means that MSC Cruises can protect their health while ashore with excursions that will be delivered with the same high standards of health and safety as on board. We will ensure that transfers are properly sanitised and that there is adequate space. Tour guides and drivers will also undergo health screening and will wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
6. A contingency response plan will be activated if a suspected case is identified, in close cooperation with the national health authorities. The suspected case and close contacts will follow isolation measures and may be disembarked according to local and national regulations.
Royal Caribbean Blog: MSC Cruises releases new policies to keep guests safe from Coronavirus
Cruise Critic: MSC Plans Two-Ship August Cruise Startup for Europeans, 14 Ships for October 31
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