MSC’s new safety protocols include swab tests and reduced capacity

MSC Cruises makes changes to Grand Voyage in wake of coronavirus

GENEVA — MSC Cruises has updated its Grand Voyage itinerary for the MSC Bellissima amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

The updated itinerary of the 28-night voyage, set to sail from March 21 to April 18, will see the cancellation of the following ports: Shenzhen (mainland China); Hong Kong; and Keelung (Taiwan).

New port additions to the itinerary include Laem Chabang/Bangkok (Thailand, Phu My/Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), as well as an extra day in Kobe, Japan. In addition, the ship will now also call in Sir Bani Yas Island (UAE) instead of Khor Fakkan (UAE).

Other highlights of the Grand Voyage remain unchanged, including Colombo (Sri Lanka), Phuket (Thailand), Langkawi, Penang and Port Klang/Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), and Singapore. The ship will reach its end destination in Yokohama, Japan on April 18.

According to MSC Cruises, a series of precautionary measures across its fleet began on Jan. 24 to keep its guests and crew around the world safe. While there have been no cases of coronavirus onboard of MSC Cruises ship, guests embarking on an MSC cruise must take into account the following:

• Anyone who has travelled to, from or through mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau in the past 30 days, or visited or transited via airports, will be denied access to the ship. The same rules apply to such passengers’ travel companions (parent, spouse, child, siblings, or a companion who shares a cabin)

• Passengers with signs or symptoms of illness such as fever (+38 C°/100.4 F°) or feverishness, chills, cough or difficulty breathing will be denied embarkation. The same rules apply 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 will be denied boarding.

• MSC Cruises will continue to conduct preboarding screening necessary to effectuate these preventative measures.

• Passengers with a Chinese passport who have not travelled from or through mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau in the past 30 days, and who are in good health can access the ship. However, authorities in certain countries are temporarily not allowing holders of a Chinese passport to travel into their territories. Holders of Chinese passports are advised to check for any travel restrictions that may apply.

Note that this list may change based on future government regulations.

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