UPDATE: MARCH 6, 2020
As announced by the office of the Prime Minister of Malta, MSC Cruises has agreed to deviate the course of MSC Opera to support the wish of the local authorities to avoid unnecessary public unrest. This unfortunate situation was caused locally by misinformation that had circulated regarding the medical conditions of the ship.
In his statement, the Prime Minister also stressed that their review of the ship’s medical records confirmed her clean bill of health – and “there is no case of Coronavirus on board the MSC Opera” - as also supported by MSC Opera having been cleared by local health authorities in each port the ship had called prior to today during this cruise.
MSC Opera next port of call will be Messina, Italy, on Sunday as scheduled.
There are no passengers or crew members currently on board the ship who have or have had any flu-like symptoms. The health and safety of our passengers and crew will always remain our top priority.
UPDATE: MARCH 5, 2020
MSC Opera has docked as scheduled at the port of Corfu, Greece today, March 5, 2020. The MSC Cruises’ ship has 1,579 passengers and 723 crew onboard. All guests were allowed to disembark, as planned. At no time have passengers or crew been quarantined and all were able to freely make use of the ship’s facilities and restaurants before it departed yesterday from Piraeus in Greece.
Health officials in Corfu earlier boarded the ship after it berthed, a common maritime practice, to review the ship’s full medical records and as was the case yesterday in Piraeus, deemed the vessel needed no further health measures beyond the ship’s existing strict preventative health measures.
Greek authorities yesterday in the port of Piraeus completed an assessment of the vessel and gave it permission to sail to Corfu. Passengers and crew remained onboard the ship yesterday for three hours while officials conducted a review of the vessel’s full medical records.
The check was to assess if any additional onboard health measures should be put in place following reports that a passenger who had disembarked the ship six days ago had tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus two days after returning to Austria via Northern Italy.
There is no reported illness today, nor yesterday, among any of the 2,302 passengers and crew.
UPDATE: MARCH 4, 2020
Health Authorities in Austria today informed us that a guest of Austrian nationality, who had cruised with us on MSC Opera in the East Mediterranean from February 17- 28, tested positive yesterday, March 3, for COVID-19. This guest returned directly to Austria through northern Italy on February 28 immediately after disembarking from his cruise in Genoa, Italy.
MSC Opera earlier today arrived in Piraeus, Greece, and we promptly informed the Greek Health Authorities about this reported case and asked for their guidelines. We requested at the same time that guests, as a precautionary measure, remained on board while awaiting guidance from the local authorities.
We shared with the local health authorities the ship’s full medical records as well as the medical and travel history records of the former Austrian guest.
The Greek health authorities gave MSC Opera permission around 1:00 pm CET to sail from Piraeus, Greece, and continue its journey to its next scheduled port in Corfu, Greece. No additional health measures were required to be taken and the ship is currently sailing as planned.
There are no guests or crew members currently on board the ship who have reported any flu-like symptoms.
The health and safety of our guests and crew will always remain our top priority.