February 28, 2020
MSC Cruises has received official confirmation from Mexican Health authorities following medical testing conducted overnight that the two people on board MSC Meraviglia in Cozumel are affected only by seasonal flu. The ship has been cleared for disembarkation.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises, said: ”The Mexican authorities followed the correct maritime protocols whereby a ship in advance provides medical records of any passenger or crew member who is or has been unwell to the next port she visits.
We would like to thank the Mexican authorities for their preventative health professionalism, which is the only way to demonstrate certainty to populations ashore, as well as to guests and crew onboard.
The disappointing decisions by Jamaica and Grand Cayman to bar our ship to allow our passengers to disembark and enjoy their islands was born out of fear, not best medical practice. This led to unnecessary and unjustifiable anxiety, not only for our passengers and crew on board, but right across the Caribbean’s tourism sector, and possibly even further beyond.”
February 27, 2020
After receiving formal and final authorization from the local health authorities in the State of Quintana Roo, Mexico to go to Cozumel, MSC Meraviglia arrived off the West Coast of Cozumel on 26 February around 9:30 PM ET (3:30 AM CET). Due to unfavorable weather conditions, including 35-40 knot winds and stormy conditions, MSC Meraviglia was able to dock only after several hours.
Mexican health authorities boarded MSC Meraviglia. Out of an excess of precaution, they administered additional testing on the crew member, now free of symptoms, and a young female guest who has since developed mild symptoms also of seasonal flu. Results from the two tests are expected to take anywhere from a few to 12 hours.
The ship will be alongside in Cozumel while waiting for the results. Once she gets clearance to disembark, she will stay in Cozumel through to the end of the day tomorrow Friday, February 28 to allow guests to enjoy the city and its attractions. Guests on board have already been informed.
Meanwhile Captain Battinelli announced the 100% cruise refund.
February 26, 2020
“As is standard practice when a vessel approaches each port of call during a cruise, the ship’s command has to report any illness on board to the relevant local health authorities. Upon arrival yesterday morning (February 25, 2020) of MSC Meraviglia in Ocho Rios, Jamaica reported one single case of common seasonal flu (type A influenza) affecting a crew member from the Philippines.
The local port health authority requested further guidance from the National Ministry of Health. After waiting in port for nearly four hours for formal clearance, ship’s command decided to leave Ocho Rios for the next port of call as the long wait had compromised the passengers’ proposed time at the destination.
MSC Cruises is extremely disappointed that Jamaican authorities yesterday delayed a decision for many hours to give our ship the necessary clearance to disembark guests, despite us having provided detailed medical records to the local health and national authorities ahead of its arrival as per normal protocol.
Similarly, the decision taken overnight by the Grand Cayman authorities to refuse disembarkation at Georgetown today was made without even reviewing the ship’s medical records, the ship was effectively turned away simply based on fears.
MSC Meraviglia is currently at sea on her way to Cozumel, Mexico, her next scheduled port of call. Ship’s command and Company’s management are in contact with local health authorities to ensure that their decision will be based on a factual review of the ship’s medical records, as well as consideration for the pre-embarkation screening and on board medical and deep sanitation protocols that are in place across MSC Cruises’ entire fleet.
MSC Cruises apologizes for any inconvenience caused and the disappointment to its guests in connection with the missed calls in Ocho Rios and Georgetown this week.”
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