Αssociated Press reports from aboard the MSC Grandiosa that Italy may be in a strict coronavirus lockdown this Easter with travel restricted between regions and new quarantines imposed. But a few miles offshore, guests aboard the MSC Grandiosa cruise ship are shimmying to Latin music on the deck and sipping cocktails by the pool.
In one of the anomalies of lockdowns that have shuttered hotels and resorts around the world, the Grandiosa has been plying the Mediterranean Sea this winter with seven-night cruises, a lonely flag-bearer of the global cruise industry.
After cruise ships were early sources of highly publicized coronavirus outbreaks, the Grandiosa has tried to chart a course through the pandemic with strict anti-virus protocols approved by Italian authorities that seek to create a “health bubble” on board.
Passengers and crew are tested before and during cruises. Mask mandates, temperature checks, contact-tracing wristbands, and frequent cleaning of the ship are all designed to prevent outbreaks. Passengers from outside Italy must arrive with negative COVID-19 tests taken within 48 hours of their departures and only residents of Europe’s Schengen countries plus Romania, Croatia, and Bulgaria are permitted to book under COVID-19 insurance policies.
On Wednesday, the Grandiosa left the Italian port of Civitavecchia for its weeklong Easter cruise, with 2,000 of its 6,000-passenger capacity and stops planned in Naples and Valletta, Malta, before returning to its homeport in Genoa.
Passengers welcomed the semblance of normalcy brought on by the freedom to eat in a restaurant or sit poolside without a mask, even if the virus is still a present concern.
Read more at thenationalherald.com
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Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: kees torn
Original article: AP: Italy may be in Easter lockdown, but the party’s on aboard cruise ships.