Update: February 27, 2020 at 2:45 p.m. ET
A MSC Cruises spokesperson released another statement to TravelPulse about the MSC Meraviglia and the situation in Cozumel:
Mexican health authorities earlier today boarded MSC Meraviglia. Out of an excess of precaution, they administered additional testing on the crew member – now free of symptoms – and a young female guest who has since developed mild symptoms also of seasonal flu. Results from the two tests are expected to take anywhere from a few to 12 hours. The ship will be alongside in Cozumel while waiting for the results. Once she gets clearance to disembark, she will stay in Cozumel through to the end of the day tomorrow Friday, February 28 to allow guests to enjoy the city and its attractions. Guests on board have already been informed.
Update: February 27, 2020 at 10:40 a.m. ET
MSC Cruises provided a statement to TravelPulse saying “MSC Meraviglia has berthed at Cozumel, Mexico and is currently waiting for local health officials to board the ship to conduct customary checks provided for by maritime protocols.”
A spokesperson also said the reason the ship did not dock right away when arriving in Cozumel was “unfavorable weather conditions.” The cruise line said it “received formal and final authorization from the local health authorities in the State of Quintana Roo, Mexico to go to Cozumel.”
An MSC Cruises ship that was turned away from two ports in the Caribbean has now reportedly been rejected by a third country due to a crew member reporting flu-like symptoms similar to those shown by coronavirus patients.
According to The Mirror, the Mexican Port Authority revoked the permission it granted the MSC Meraviglia to dock and disembark passengers in the port of Cozumel after a Filipino crew worker fell ill after he reportedly visited Manila within the last few days.
The MSC Meraviglia was originally scheduled to dock in Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Georgetown, Cayman Islands, but was denied permission, as health officials at both destinations said they were looking to “provide protection to the health and safety” for their residents.
The ship is carrying more than 4,500 passengers and 1,600 crew members.
Officials from the Mexican Port Authority confirmed to Reuters it canceled permission over coronavirus fears. MSC Cruises said in a statement Thursday it was sailing toward Cozumel after receiving authorization to dock from the Mexican Ministry of health.
The Mirror is reporting the Ministry of Health was scheduled to board the MSC Meraviglia when it arrived in Mexico and confirm the medical records stating the crew member was diagnosed with common seasonal flu and not the coronavirus.
The Mexican Ministry of Health would reportedly be responsible for the decision to turn the ship away, not the port authority.
An official Twitter account for MSC Cruises revealed the ship had berthed at Cozumel at around 9 a.m. ET and was waiting for local health officials to board the vessel. The cruise line said the doctors at the Mexican destination would conduct customary checks.
The decision to deny the MSC Meraviglia at port comes just one week after MSC Cruises updated MSC Bellissima’s Grand Voyage itinerary to Asia.
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