MSC Cruises today said that “no cases” of coronavirus have been found onboard MSC Meraviglia, despite news that the ship was turned away from a couple of Caribbean ports due to concerns over the COVID-19 virus.
The ship was sailing a Caribbean itinerary out of Miami when it arrived in Ocho Rios on Tuesday only to be told by local authorities that no one was allowed to disembark the ship because of reports that a crew member was ill.
In a statement on its website, MSC said that “no cases of COVID-19 virus (Coronavirus) have been reported on board MSC Meraviglia or any other ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet.” The crew member who caused the port blockages was diagnosed with “common seasonal flu” and “no other cases of Influenza A have been reported on board MSC Meraviglia.”
After reporting ill, the crew member was isolated from other crew members and guests, which caused officials in Ocho Rios to decide to block guests from disembarking. Officials at Grand Cayman, the next scheduled stop for the ship, then told the cruise line that it wouldn’t allow guest to disembark at Georgetown either.
“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,” MSC said, adding that it was similarity disappointed by the decision of the Grand Cayman authorities, as well.
“In both instances, the ship was effectively turned away simply based on fears.”
MSC, like a lot of the other cruise lines, has placed additional health measures onboard all of its ships as it continues to navigate the crisis caused by coronavirus. Aside from individual screening upon embarkation, MSC also has a ban on crew and guests who have traveled to, though, or from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau during the past 14 days “or through any of the municipalities that are subject to quarantine in central northern Italy.”