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Cruise lines continue Brazil operating pause until Feb. 18

MSC Preziosa — among five ships waiting off the coast of Santos
CLIA Brazil's member lines are extending their operating pause another 14 days, to Feb. 18.

This gives further time to analyze the evolving epidemiological scenario and continue discussions with the national, state and municipal authorities.

Five ships await off Santos

The five cruise ships of the season, which belong to MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises, are anchored off the coast of Santos, prepared for resumption, with the protocols fully implemented and more than 7,000 Brazilian and foreign crew members on board.

Interministerial Ordinance No. 666, published Jan. 20, spells out the requirements for cruises to resume and directs states and municipalities to follow public health agency ANVISA's directives.  

High vaccination levels, 100% testing

Cruises are the only travel segment that require extremely high levels of vaccination for passengers and crew and 100% testing of each individual before embarkation, along with continuous testing on board, use of masks, social distancing and reduced capacity.

In addition, cruises are the only sector that continuously monitors, collects and reports COVID-19 case information directly to government agencies.

Given this supervision and the exceptionally high rate of vaccination required on board, CLIA Brazil said incidence of serious illnesses is dramatically lower than on land, and hospitalizations have been rare.

Less than 1% COVID rate on cruises Nov. 5-Jan. 3

Of approximately 130,000 passengers carried between Nov. 5 and Jan. 3, about 1,100 cases were confirmed, representing less than 1% of the total population on board (passengers and crew).

CLIA Brazil first voluntarily suspended cruises until Jan. 21 then extended that to Feb. 4 and, now, beyond.

The association said its members will continue to work together with the authorities, guided by science and using proven measures to ensure the protection of passengers, crew and the communities visited.