An MSC cruise ship, denied access from two Caribbean ports after a crew member showed symptoms of coronavirus, is now waiting to dock in Mexico.
MSC Meraviglia was refused docking in Jamaica and Grand Cayman after the crew member, who had joined the ship within the past few days, fell ill. Authorities revoked permission for the vessel’s 4,500 passengers and 1,600 crewmembers to disembark.
The cruise line said permission had now been granted for the vessel to visit Cozumel.
“MSC Cruises has received formal and final authorisation from the local health authorities in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, to go to Cozumel,” the line said in a statement.
However, weather conditions, including 35-40 knot (40-46mph) winds, mean Meraviglia is not due to dock until Friday morning when wind speed drops to 25 knots (28mph), the maximum permitted for berthing at the port.
“As soon as this happens, the ship has already agreed with the local port authorities to board the pilot and head into port,” it said.
MSC said it was “extremely disappointed” by Jamaican authorities’ decision not to allow guests to disembark.
It added: “Similarly, the decision taken overnight by the Grand Cayman authorities to refuse disembarkation at Georgetown was made without even reviewing the ship’s medical records, which show one single case of common seasonal flu (type A influenza) affecting one crew member with a travel history clearly showing no passages through territories either affected by Covid-19 (coronavirus) or subject to any international health restrictions.
“In both instances, the ship was effectively turned away simply based on fears.”
The line added that the crew member was “free of fever and nearly recovered” and that no cases of coronavirus had been found on any of its ships.