CLIA Brazil (Brazilian Association of Maritime Cruises) took the decision to extend the voluntary suspension of operations in Brazilian ports, now scheduled through March 4, 2022. Until then the 2 Costa Cruises and 3 MSC Cruises ships remain at anchor off the coast of Santos/Sao Paulo (Brazil).
According to the association, the decision to extend the suspension aimed "to continue necessary discussions with the competent authorities in order to align the necessary measures for the resumption of cruises."
In the note, CLIA Brazil said that cruises were the only segment that required, "before boarding for passengers and crew, extremely high levels of vaccination and 100% testing of each individual."
"In Brazil, the protocols require that all guests have the complete vaccination cycle, present negative tests before boarding, continuous testing on board, use of masks, social distancing and lower occupation of ships, among other protocols.”
CLIA Brazil stated that it was working with the Italian cruise companies Costa and MSC "to align with Anvisa, Federal Government authorities and municipalities regarding the interpretations and applications of the operational health and safety protocols" that had been approved in November 2021 at the start of the Brazilian season.
This is the 3rd time the Brazilian Association of Maritime Cruises has extended the voluntary pause after the cruising season was put on hold due to the rise of COVID cases last month. Following the rise, Costa Cruises and MSC Cruises announced the voluntary suspension of cruise operations in Brazil through to January 21, 2022. Since the temporary suspension, Anvisa recommends cancellation of the cruise season, given the increase in cases (both in the country and in the cruise sector) and after evaluating the epidemiological scenario.
CLIA Brazil later announced the extension of the voluntary cruise pause and moved the return date of cruise activities from February 4 to February 18.
In case the voyages are approved by the Brazilian authorities in March, Costa and MSC will have only one month left of the season that ends in mid-April 2022.