MSC Cruises announced Friday the MSC Meraviglia ship has been given a clean bill of health by Mexican officials and passengers were finally allowed to disembark in Cozumel.
MSC Meraviglia arrived in Mexico Wednesday night, but the vessel was forced to wait until stormy conditions subsided before entering port. Once docked, health officials from Cozumel boarded the ship to check the medical condition of one crew member and one passenger, who both had a case of seasonal flu.
As a result of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, doctors ran additional tests on both people out of an abundance of caution and confirmed neither had the viral infection. All passengers and crew members were then allowed to disembark and spend the day at the tropical destination.
“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,” MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said in a statement.
“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,” Vago continued.
The ship is scheduled to depart Friday night and return to her homeport in Miami on Sunday.
Before being permitted to dock in Mexico, the MSC Meraviglia was turned away at both Ocho Rios, Jamaica and George Town, Grand Cayman, due to concerns about the coronavirus, but MSC Cruises representatives said the destinations ignored established health protocols.
“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,” Vago said. “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.”
The 4,580 passengers on board during the troubled vacation were informed they would receive a 100 percent refund of their cruise fare.
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