Brazil's National Sanitary Surveillance Agency, ANVISA has advised the suspension of the cruise season because of several covid-19 outbreaks onboard pleasure vessels sailing along the Brazilian coast.
The recommendation from the regulatory agency follows on outbreaks in several cruise vessels in recent days among which MSC Preziosa in Rio do Janeiro, with at least 28 positive cases and the Costa Diadema, which docked in the port of Salvador.
The vessel was released a day later and re-routed to Santos to have passengers disembark, but was not allowed to resume cruising. MSC Bright was also retained in Santos and all boarding suspended. MSC Splendida also on December 30 had to remain in Santos.
In a statement made public, Anvisa reiterated its recommendation to suspend the cruise ship season in the country.:
“Anvisa stresses the urgent need to immediately halt the cruise ship season in Brazil. Despite the agency’s efforts in recent days to control the health status of the ships, the procedures are seriously affected by the non-compliance with the protocols agreed upon to start the season.
Because of the serious danger to the health of the population, Anvisa has already recommended to the Ministry of Health, since 12/31, to reconsider the situation for the season of cruise ships stipulated in GM/MS Order No. 2928 of 2021, until the sanitary and epidemiological scenario is reassessed.
As the signatories to the 2021 Inter-ministerial Order CC-PR/MJSP/MS/MINFRA 658 they have been alerted, the agency is still awaiting the rapid and urgent emergence of the Ministry of Health, at risk of serious consequences to public health.”
In a statement, MSC Cruises regrets the situation and offers guests the options of a letter of credit for the value of the original cruise, which can be redeemed on any future cruise through December 31, 2022, plus an onboard credit of 200/€ per cabin for the next cruise, or a full refund. for the amount paid for the cruise.
MSC added that it will also reimburse prepaid packages (drinks, excursions, etc.) and that it will support guests, including logistical support, until they return home. Finally, MSC claims to have followed strict protocols for Covid-19 health prevention.