Universal COVID-19 testing for all guests and crew prior to embarkation and protected ‘social bubble’ shore visits at each destination are among measures currently in place on board Grandiosa.
Other protocols that enabled MSC to resume cruising in August are in synergy with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) Joint Guidance, which incorporates additional health standards including those from the EU Healthy Gateways Joint Action.
Aspen Medical supported MSC with the development of its health procedures; a cross-functional task force made up of in-house experts in the areas of medical services, public health and sanitation, hotel services, HVAC and other shipboard engineering systems, Information Technology and logistics were utilised by the cruise line on its journey to receiving the RINA notation.
A Blue Ribbon COVID-19 Expert Group was also consulted by MSC, comprising Prof Christakis Hadjichristodoulou, hygiene and epidemiology at the Faculty of Medicine and vp, School of Health Sciences, University of Thessaly, Greece; Prof Stephan J. Harbarth, hospital epidemiologist, infectious diseases specialist and head of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) and Faculty of Medicine and Dr Ian Norton, specialist emergency physician with post graduate qualifications in surgery, international health and tropical medicine, currently md of Respond Global, formerly head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Medical Team Initiative program.
Return to sailing
Grandiosa is on its eighth weekly cruise carrying passengers from the Schengen area; it is scheduled to welcome guests for 10-night cruises across the Western and Eastern Mediterranean starting October 19.