Cruise lines suspend service in Brazil
Suspension has immediate effect and shall last until January 21
Published in 03/01/2022 - 18:38 By Camila Boehm – Repórter da Agência Brasil - São Paulo
Updated in 04/01/2022 - 12:29
Cruise lines are voluntarily suspending service in Brazil until January 21, according to a statement from CLIA Brazil - the Brazilian Association of Cruise Ships released on Monday (3). The suspension has immediate effect for new departures and no passengers will be boarded until January 21st. Current cruises will finish their itineraries as planned.
The associations said it is working on behalf of the cruise companies operating in the country – MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises – with local authorities such as Health Drug Regulator Anvisa to “seek an alignment” to solve operational issues involving health and safety protocols that had been approved at the beginning of the season, in November.
“In the last few weeks, the two affected cruise lines have experienced a number of situations that have impacted directly in the operation of their ships, making the continuity of the cruises unworkable at this moment,” the association explained. The operational uncertainty caused “significant inconvenience for the guests who were wishing to spend their vacations at sea under strict safety protocols,” CLIA said.
On Sunday (Dec. 2), Anvisa released a statement in which it contraindicates boarding on cruise ships at this time. "Due to recent events, Anvisa contraindicates trips scheduled on cruise ships for the next few days, especially in light of the vertiginous increase in cases of COVID-19 and outbreaks on board of the vessels that operate on the Brazilian coast”, says the note.
"The Agency's recommendation takes into account the rapid change in the epidemiological scenario, the risk of damage to the health of passengers and the unpredictability of operations at this time," added Anvisa.
Anvisa had already recommended to the Ministry of Health, last Friday (Dec. 31), the temporary suspension of the cruise ship season, until issues involving a possible resumption of operations are discussed.
According to Clia, the current season, after the end of the voluntary suspension, may be fully canceled if there is no convergence and alignment between ship protocols and agreements made with authorities to enable the continuity of the operation.
The current protocols, as informed by the association, are as follows:
• Mandatory full vaccination cycle for guests and crew.
• Pre-boarding testing (PCR up to three days before or Antigen up to one day before travel).
• Frequent testing of at least 10% of people on board and crew.
• Reduced capacity on board to enable social distancing of 1.5m among guests and reserved cabins to isolate potential cases.
• Mandatory use of masks.
• Filling of a personal health form (DSV – Traveler's Health Declaration).
• Fresh air without recirculation, constant disinfection and sanitization.
• Contingency plan with a specially trained medical staff and a structure with modern resources to treat guests and crew.
• Traceability measures and daily communication with ANVISA, municipalities and states
Translation: Mario Nunes - Edition: Aline Leal