MSC Cruises recently introduced its comprehensive health and safety protocol that has been developed to support the restart of operations in the Mediterranean and ensure the safety of guests, crew and local communities.
According to an announcement, as of August 16, the company’s MSC Grandiosa cruise ship will offer 7-night cruises in the Western Mediterranean, while MSC Magnifica will serve the East Mediterranean. The itineraries that are planned include Greece and Malta where the authorities have reopened their ports to cruise tourism.
Health and safety protocol
MSC Cruises has been working closely with many different authorities including RINA, the independent maritime certification corporation, as well as Aspen Medical, a leading global healthcare provider.
The new procedures include the following pillars in terms of precautionary measures and response planning:
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.
2. Elevated sanitation measures supported by the introduction of new cleaning methods.
3. Social distancing will be enabled through the reduction of the overall capacity of guests on board, allowing for more space for guests.
4. Enhanced medical facilities and services with highly qualified staff; 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.
5. Ongoing health monitoring will be conducted throughout the cruise. During this initial phase of operations, guests and their fellow cruisers will only go ashore as part of an organised MSC Cruises excursion.
6. A contingency response plan will be activated if a suspected case is identified, in close cooperation with the national health authorities.
For this initial phase of the restart of operations, the two MSC Cruises ships operating in the Mediterranean will only welcome guests who are residents in Schengen countries. Additionally, their itineraries have been designed according to the accessibility of the ports, reducing – where possible – the need for guests to use public transport or flights.