Memories of the Diamond Princess are not very far away. It was this boat, a few months ago, in February, that hosted the horror cruise. On board, an infected person had ended up contaminating more than 700. A tragedy which caused a few weeks after the death of 7 passengers. Other cruise ships have also been affected by the coronavirus afterwards. Six months later, the epidemic is still running, faster and faster. However, the cruise line MSC assures that it is ready to restart its travel offer, and will do so before the end of August.
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" MSC Grandiosa will again welcome guests from August 16 in the Western Mediterranean and MSC Magnifica from August 29 in the Eastern Mediterranean, " we learn in a statement from the cruise line. To allow this recovery, a very strict sanitary protocol had to be drawn up. Produced by " a cross-functional working group made up of internal experts specializing in different fields ", it meets many rules. First, the overall capacity of the boat will be reduced and the cruise will only accommodate 70% of the passengers it can usually accommodate. This leaves an average of 10m2 of space for each person, assures MSC. Then, each entering the boat will be tested both for his fever, but also for the virus. If the test is positive or the fever is higher than normal, access to the boat will be refused.
“ Sanitation measures supported by the introduction of new cleaning methods ” will be put in place, MSC also promises. The air on board will also be purified. When social distancing cannot be respected, MSC will also require passengers to wear a mask, as in elevators. The cruise line plans to provide it daily.
In addition, passengers will be regularly tested. Either when they leave the boat for an excursion, or " in certain places indicated on board ". If a case is suspected or occurs, " an emergency response plan will be put in place " and that person, and all those who have been in contact with him, will be disembarked.
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“ With all of these measures in place, we aim to provide our passengers with the safest vacations possible, ” says Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises. For this recovery phase, only residents of the Schengen area will be allowed to board, " subject to the restrictions imposed by the Italian authorities ". On the MSC website, reservations are always open and present an information message to " travel with confidence ". In it, MSC " requires all hosts to have an insurance policy covering all risks related to Covid-19, including cancellation, repatriation and medical costs ."
MSC information about booking a cruise in August. MSC screenshot