Cruises are finally set to begin departing from Italy since the lockdown and MSC Cruises are first in line. What are cruises going to look like in the age of the pandemic?
MSC Cruises are taking many precautions in an effort to ensure the safety of its passengers and reduce the spread of the virus. Here is what you need to know before you find your sea legs again.
Who can board?
There are strict limits being set to who can board the cruise ship. Passengers are limited to residents of Europe’s 26 nation Schengen visa free travel zone.
All MSC Cruises are only going to allow 70% capacity. This means there will be less people and a lower chance for COVID-19 to spread.
By limiting the capacity, cruises will be able to control the density of gatherings in various areas of the ship. Many other travel destinations, including the Palladium Hotel Group, have been implementing capacity limits with great success in reducing the spread of the virus for some time now.
Before you can set sail…
All passengers on MSC Cruises will be checked for fevers and other symptoms of the virus before they are allowed to board. Anyone with a positive test or symptoms of COVID-19 will be denied boarding.
In addition, the crew is subject to strict standards meant to prevent transmission.
Hopefully these extra precautions will be enough for MSC Cruises to continue being allowed to sail the seas. There is still the chance extra precautions may be put in place such as further limiting the capacity allowed onboard.
Staying safe on the cruise
Masks are required in small spaces where social distancing isn’t possible. This includes hallways and elevators, but passengers will be able to enjoy their rooms and other open spaces without a mask.
MSC Cruises are also advancing their contactless transaction procedures. All passengers will have a unique wristband that allows them to access areas of the ship and make purchases with the least amount of contact as possible.
Wristbands will also help in efforts towards contact tracing and quickly identify potential areas for the spread of the virus.
Cruises are vital to the economy
Over 12 million cruises departed from Italy’s coasts last year. Tourism is a vital part of Italy’s economy and the news for reopening is a relief for many people.
There are countless businesses and ports of call that rely on the cruise industry to stay afloat and since the beginning of lockdown efforts, they have been struggling.
The move by Italy and MSC Cruises to start cruises again was viewed as a much-needed first step to return to cruising in the midst of the pandemic.