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MSC Cruises has released a statement saying their cruise ship, MSC Meraviglia, was given a clean bill of health by Mexican Health officials.

The cruise ship was not allowed to dock earlier in the week at two different Caribbean ports over coronavirus concerns. The cruise line said that all 4,580 passengers on board will receive a full refund of their cruise fare.

Medical checks were carried out on one crew member and a young female guest after the cruise ship arrived in Cozumel, Mexico. It was determined that both had the common seasonal flu.

The results were tested at a Mexican Ministry of Public Health laboratory in the city of Chetumal and determined that the condition of both the crew member and guest was in no way whatsoever associated with the COVID-19 coronavirus. The cruise ship was given a clean bill of health.

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MSC Meraviglia previously had been unable to make scheduled calls to both Ocho Rios, Jamaica and George Town, Grand Cayman. Guests couldn’t disembark at either island because local authorities had decided to ignore the same established health protocols that today saw the ship receive a clean bill of health.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises, gave the following statement: “The Mexican authorities followed the correct maritime protocols whereby a ship in advance provides medical records of any passenger or crew member who is or has been unwell to the next port she visits.

We would like to thank the Mexican authorities for their preventative health professionalism, which is the only way to demonstrate certainty to populations ashore, as well as to guests and crew on board.

The disappointing decisions by Jamaica and Grand Cayman to bar our ship to allow our passengers to disembark and enjoy their islands was born out of fear, not best medical practice. This led to unnecessary and unjustifiable anxiety, not only for our passengers and crew on board, but right across the Caribbean’s tourism sector, and possibly even further beyond.”

Guests on board the cruise ship will be able to spend a full day today (Friday, February 28) ashore in Cozumel. MSC Meraviglia will depart later tonight to return to her homeport of Miami, Florida on Sunday, March 1.

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