MSC Cruises has said its ship MSC Meraviglia has been given ‘a clean bill of health’ by Mexican health officials following medical checks on a crew member and a young female guest who both had common seasonal flu after the vessel arrived in Cozumel, Mexico.
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.”
Health experts boarded the ship to check the medical condition of one crew member and one young female guest who had seasonal flu. In addition to the checks that are customarily run to give a ship a clean bill of health, out of an excess of precaution they conducted overnight additional tests on both of them.
The results were tested at a Mexican Ministry of Public Health laboratory in the city of Chetumal and determined that the condition of both the crew member and guest was in no way whatsoever associated with the COVID-19 coronavirus. The ship was given a clean bill of health.
MSC Meraviglia previously had been unable to make scheduled calls to both Ocho Rios, Jamaica and George Town, Grand Cayman. Passengers couldn’t disembark at either island because local authorities had decided to ignore the same established health protocols that today saw the ship receive a clean bill of health.
Mr. Vago added, “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 on board.
“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.”
Passengers on board MSC Meraviglia will be able to spend a full day today (Friday, February 28) ashore in Cozumel. The ship will depart later tonight to return to her homeport of Miami, Florida on Sunday, March 1.
MSC Cruises has told all of its 4,580 guests on board that they will receive a 100 percent refund of their cruise fare due to the disruptive nature of their vacation.