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Cruise passengers are positive for Covid-19 in Italy

(CNN) – Two passengers on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean tested positive for Covid-19.

The two traveled on the cruise ship MSC Seaside and landed with their families in Syracuse, Sicily, on Tuesday, MSC told CNN on Wednesday. Both passengers were asymptomatic.

The cruise had previously boarded Malta, but passengers were barred from disembarking because the ship had only made a “technical” call, according to the cruise operator, who would not reveal the nationality or total number of passengers on board.

All passengers traveling with the MSC must pass the Covid-1

9 test 96 hours before departure, another on boarding and a third on the cruise. The MSC does not require passengers to be vaccinated, but the rules apply to those who have been.

Guests on board must wear masks in public places and at a social distance.

“Our protocol works, if not on board, these two people would still be circulating freely,” said MSC spokesman Michele Curatolo.

The company has a contingency plan for each port, added Quartolo, which means that “the security transfer was immediately activated” for the two passengers who took the tests.

Luca Biondolilo, MSC Cruise’s chief communications officer, said three of the company’s ships are currently at sea, and their number should increase to eight by August.

In August 2020, MSC cruises were the first major cruise line to resume navigation in Europe after the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic subsided.

Since then, the cruise line has operated and shut down Italian voyages and recently launched the first cruise in the UK in more than a year.

Those wishing to take a cruise from the United States had to hold on to their plans due to the pandemic, but there is hope on the horizon.

Most ships are still awaiting CDC approval to sail. Since October last year, the agency has issued a series of changing requirements and guidelines in the form of a Conditional Navigation Order.

Francesca Street contributed to this story

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