Costa Cruises announced yesterday that it is introducing coronavirus tests for all passengers on its ships, in the latest cruise news. This will be rolled out for the cruise line’s first sailing on September 16. All embarking guests will have to carry out the antigenic Covid-19 swab test.
“The test will be carried out within the wider pre-boarding procedures that have been defined according to the protocols of the health authorities and the Costa Safety Protocol,” explained Costa Cruises in a statement.
“The quick antigenic test will identify any suspicious cases that may be subjected to a PCR test for further checks, thus determining the possibility of embarkation.”
According to Costa Cruises, it is the first cruise company to earn the Biosafety Trust Certification from RINA, the over 150-year-old testing, inspection, certification and ship classification company that developed the innovative management system certification program.
The certification process, carried out through audits, examines all aspects of life on board and ashore – from the embarkation procedures to hotel services, catering, fitness, relaxation areas and shore excursions.
To obtain certification from RINA, specific training modules for crews have been created in strict compliance with the new health protocols and with the associated shipboard management system implemented by Costa.
These training programs reinforce the already strict procedures in place on board Costa’s ships, in the embarkation terminals and during shore excursions, introduced with the Costa Safety Protocol, the new health protocol developed by Costa, with the scientific support of independent experts, in response to the COVID-19 situation.
The company is also offering its guests the option to subscribe a dedicated insurance, with specific services in case of need.
Costa Cruises has chosen to offer itineraries only in Italy for Italian guests, for its September cruises.
The first ship to sail on September 6 will be Costa Deliziosa, which will sail every Sunday until September 27 offering cruises from Trieste to visit Bari, Brindisi, Corigliano-Rossano, Siracusa and Catania.
Costa Diadema will follow on September 19, 2020, with a seven-day cruise from Genoa in the Western Mediterranean, to visit Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Palermo, Cagliari and La Spezia.
Costa Cruises has been particularly badly affected by the coronavirus crisis.
Earlier this month it emerged that cruise passengers who contracted coronavirus onboard a Costa ship are now suing the company for negligence and misconduct.
The French holidaymakers had been onboard the Costa Magica when disaster struck.
The group accused the Italian company of injuries and manslaughter as well as endangering the lives of others.
The cruise in question took place earlier in the year.
Costa Cruises is said to have told passengers no difficulties would affect the ship but they might not be able to stop at certain ports, reported French media.
The French passengers were allowed to leave the ship on March 15, more than two weeks after their departure.
More than 200 guests showed symptoms of coronavirus upon their return to France.
Three of the passengers died and others suffered very serious consequences.
Costa Cruises previously told Express.co.uk: “The health and safety of passengers, crews and communities at the destinations we visit, compliance and environmental protection have always been and remain an absolute priority for the company in all circumstances.”
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