Health authorities brazilian They announced on Sunday that they would investigate reports of violations of the covid-19 protocols by cruise ships, after outbreaks affected three ships that were sailing along their coast.
“Failure to comply with health protocols and disobedience to restrictive measures imposed by the authorities constitute health offenses that, if confirmed, will result in fines and the suspension of activities (of cruise companies)”, the federal health regulator Anvisa warned in a statement.
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The agency reported that it would also reinforce the recommendation it made on Friday to the Brazilian Ministry of Health to immediately suspend all cruises, given the global increase in COVID-19 cases driven by the new omicron variant.
Brazil allowed cruises to resume in November, but ordered companies to implement strict protocols against COVID-19, which included testing passengers and quarantining them in case of infection.
The announcement of the investigation comes after outbreaks of covid-19 broke out on three ships off the Brazilian coast on New Years.
Anvisa said 26 passengers and two crew members tested positive on the MSC Preziosa, a 333-meter ship sailing off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.
The ship, with a capacity for 4,000 passengers, was able to dock in the port of Rio on Sunday.
The isolation of infected people and those who came into contact with them was ordered, Anvisa recalled.
On December 30, health authorities suspended the operations of two other ships, the Costa Diadema and the MSC Splendida, after they too reported dozens of cases of covid-19 on board.
The 306-meter Costa Diadema, which was located off the northeastern city of Salvador, was ordered to disembark 68 infected people and return to its port of origin in the southeastern city of Santos for quarantine.
The 333-meter Splendida, which was heading to Rio de Janeiro, was also ordered to return to Santos after reporting 78 cases.
The Swiss-Italian company MSC Cruises, whose Brazilian branch operates the Preziosa and the Splendida, said in a statement that its ships “They would keep their future cruise programs unchanged.”
“In today’s context, a cruise is one of the safest vacation options in the world,” argument. “No other sector of the travel and tourism industry has such a comprehensive and robust protocol to contain the spread of infectious diseases.”
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