Agency in Brazil advises against cruise ship travel due to positive cases
Brazilian health agency ANVISA has advised against all travel by cruise ship operating in its waters. At least five ships are affected by the new advisory, sailing for MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises and two cruise ships have already been banned from operating for the time being.
The move follows a call for “the immediate temporary disruption of the cruise ship season in Brazil” after Costa diadema and MSC Splendida both experienced what ANVISA called “sustained transmission of Covid-19 among crew members.”
December 30, Costa diademaThe operation was halted and guests who tested positive for COVID-19 were removed from the ship in the port of Salvador. After that, the ship was ordered to proceed to Santos, near Sao Paulo, to disembark all the passengers. According to the Brazilian health agency, 68 people were infected on board.
January 1st MSC Splendida reported 78 cases of Covid-19. The ship has since returned and docked in Sao Paulo. According to ANVISA, 26 passengers and two crew members have tested positive since MSC Preziosa, which was cruising off Rio de Janeiro and has since returned here. The ship is still operational.
Following the number of cases found on board the ships, the health agency has called for a complete ban on cruises taking place along the Brazilian coasts; in a press release published on its website, the Agency states:
âAnvisa reinforces the urgency of the immediate interruption of the cruise season in Brazil. Anvisa advises against boarding passengers who have scheduled trips on cruise ships for the next few days, especially in view of the dizzying increase in Covid-19 cases, with the identification of outbreaks on board ships operating on the Brazilian coast . The Agency’s recommendation takes into account the rapidly changing epidemiological scenario, the risk of harm to the health of passengers and the unpredictability of operations at this time.
âDue to the serious risk to the health of the population, Anvisa has already recommended to the Ministry of Health, since December 31, that the position on the season for cruise ships set out in ordinance GM / MS 2.928 / 2021 be revised until the sanitary conditions and epidemiological scenario is reassessed.
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From that moment, the two Costa diadema and MSC Splendida are banned from operating in Brazil. A possible cruise ban until ANVISA considers the situation safe again could result in the suspension of operations for a total of 5 cruise ships.
There are three MSC cruise ships and two Carnival Corporation Costa Cruises cruise ships operating in Brazil. Most notable is the 153,516 gross tonnage, 4,132 passenger cruise ship MSC, the MSC Seaside. Currently, this ship is still operational at level 3, which means that the cruise can continue for the time being.
Costa Fascinosa is, from this moment, in Santos, where a new group of guests will embark on the ship. So far the vessel is operational at ANVISA level 3, which means that the vessel is also still in compliance with the stated rules and regulations.
The same counts for MSC Preziosa. Despite the 26 cases that have been reported, the vessel has yet to be forced to shut down. MSC Cruises has reacted to the developments in Brazil. The cruise line told France 24 its ships would “keep their future cruise programs unchanged.”
âIn today’s environment, a cruise is one of the safest vacation options in the world. No other sector of the travel and tourism industry has such a comprehensive and robust protocol for containing the spread of infectious diseases. “
While the three ships are cleared to continue their operations, ANVISA advises clients not to embark on a cruise ship. With the increase in the number of cases for Omicron worldwide and the relative ease with which ANVISA has closed MSC Splendida and Costa diadema, it wouldn’t be surprising if many people would follow this advice.