UPDATE 12 MARCH
In light of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak that originated in China, MSC Cruises has undertaken a series of global actions since 24 January to secure the health and well-being of all guests and crew. As the situation continues to evolve, we continue to update our precautionary measures and further enhanced them to protect everyone on board as per below.
For European guests cruising from the USA. Entry in USA is closed to most foreign nationals who have been in certain European countries at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the United States. These countries include: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. This does not apply to legal permanent residents, (generally) immediate family members of U.S. citizens, and other individuals who are identified in the proclamation. This restriction comes into effect at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 13, 2020 and it’s expected to be in place for at least 30 days.
Guests forced to cancel their cruise because of the above will receive a voucher equal to the value of the cancelled cruise, to be used for any future sailing departing before the end of 2021 plus an on board credit of €100 per cabin for cancelled cruises up to 6 nights and €200 for cruises of 7 nights or longer. This credit is refundable, valid for any period of the year and can be combined with any existing promotion.
We are denying boarding to anyone from high-risk areas:
• Anyone who has travelled to, from or through mainland China, Hong Kong, Iran, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, Macau or Italy
in the past 14 days (this includes transit flights in the aforementioned geographies. The same rules apply to such guests’ travel companions (parent, spouse, child, siblings, or a companion who shares a cabin).
• For the Caribbean area only:
Japan is considered a high risk area by local authorities. Therefore, anyone who has travelled to, from or through Japan in the past 14 days (this includes transit flights) will not be allowed on board of the ships (currently MSC Meraviglia, MSC Divina, MSC Armonia, MSC Preziosa and MSC Seaside.
• For all ships embarking in Miami. Starting from Saturday 14 of March we are further elevating our health measures, in line with the recommendation of the Cruise Line Association and the USA Government.
• We will deny embarkation for:
• All guests with severe chronic medical condition (heart disease, diabetes, lung disease) as specified by the U.S. CDC
• All guests 70 years of age or older at embarkation date or who turn 70 within the duration of the cruise, unless provided written verification from their qualified treating physician certifying no severe chronic medical conditions and otherwise fit for the cruise
• We started thermal temperature check on all Ports and all Gangways
• We started weekly health screening for all crew members
Rigorous pre-embarkation illness screening:
Guests with signs or symptoms of illness such as fever (equal to or above 37.5 C°/99.5 F° in vessels worldwide; equal to or above 38 C°, 100.4 F° in vessels sailing in the USA waters) or feverishness, chills, cough or difficulty breathing have been will be denied boarding. The same rules applied to their travel companions;
• Anyone who, within 14 days before embarkation, has had close contact with, or helped care for, anyone suspected or diagnosed as having coronavirus, or who is currently subject to health monitoring for possible exposure to novel coronavirus, has been denied boarding;
• MSC Cruises has conducted and continues to conduct pre-boarding screening to exclude persons who may be at risk;
• Guests with Chinese passports who have not travelled mainland China Hong Kong or Macao in the last 14 days and are in good health may board the ship. However in some countries local may deny access to holders of Chinese passports or who have travelled through some affected countries.
Keeping the ship free from infectious diseases:
• Throughout the cruise, at ports of call, guests and crew embarking and disembarking will be frequently checked by thermal cameras for fever symptoms;
• In addition, there has been and will continue to be an elevated deep-sanitation on every ship in our entire fleet. There is increased hand-washing for guests and crew, alcohol-based hand-sanitizers across the ship, increased continuous disinfection of public areas – especially frequently touched areas such as handrails, elevator buttons, door handles and reception desks.
At this point we can confirm there have been no cases of coronavirus on board any of our ships but we need your help to reduce the risk of infection by exercising the following routine precautions:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. Where soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. If a tissue is not immediately available, cough or sneeze into your upper arm.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid personal contact, such sharing cups or eating utensils, with sick people.
For more information please download the full screening procedures infographic.