Costa Cruises to test all passengers for COVID-19 prior to embarkation when it resumes services in September.
In a statement, August 25, Costa Cruises said that it would perform antigenic Covid-19 swab tests for all passengers prior to embarkation as part of its recently announced health and safety protocol, which will also include health screenings and temperature checks at every access and exit to the ship, as well as physical distancing, reduced capacity and the wearing of masks in public spaces.
Passengers that test positive with the rapid antigen test, which identifies whether a person has antibodies to the disease, will be referred for a PCR test that identifies whether a person is currently a carrier of the virus. Passengers testing positive for the PCR test will be denied embarkation to the voyage.
The protocol is similar to that adopted by MSC Cruises, which resumed sailing last week with seven-night cruises in the Meditteranean aboard the MSC Grandiosa.
Denied boarding to the Grandiosa
Italian media reported this week that a French party of 13 had been denied boarding to the Grandiosa’s second voyage of the season after one of its members tested positive on the PCR test.
As for crew, Costa is pre-screening each crew member in their own country of origin, including two different swab tests for evaluation of suspected COVID-19 cases. Upon arrival in Italy they are tested a third time; those confirmed negative are allowed on board while respecting a 14-day period of “quarantine”. Their health conditions are monitored with temperature checks every day swab tests will be administered to crew members every month.
Costa said it had also become the first cruise operator to obtain Biosafety Trust Certification from the marine safety standards organization RINA.
Costa Cruises will resume sailing with the Deliziosa
Costa will resume sailing on September 6 from Trieste Italy aboard the Costa Deliziosa, with berths reserved exclusively for Italian guests.
The Costa Deliziosa, which will sail every Sunday until September 27 offering cruises from Trieste to visit Bari, Brindisi, Corigliano-Rossano, Siracusa and Catania.
Costa Diadema will follow on September 19, 2020, with a seven-day cruise from Genoa in the Western Mediterranean, to visit Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Palermo, Cagliari and La Spezia
All destinations on the two itineraries can only be visited with protected shore excursions organized by Costa Cruises.
A spokesman said the family had broken from the ‘social bubble’ created for them and all other guests, and therefore could not be permitted to re-board the ship.