First Mediterranean cruise sets sail after Italy’s coronavirus lockdown lifts

ROME (AP) — Cruise ship passengers were having their temperatures checked and taking COVID-19 tests Sunday so they could set sail on what is being billed as the first Mediterranean cruise after Italy’s pandemic lockdown.

The cruise ship company MSC has made the procedures, for crew as well as passengers, part of its new health and safety protocols. The MSC Grandiosa, which was christened last year, was scheduled to depart from the northern Italian port of Genoa on Sunday evening for a seven-night cruise in the western Mediterranean.

Any one testing positive, or with a fever, or having other COVID-19 symptoms will be denied boarding, the company said. Guest must wear face masks in elevators and other areas where social distancing is not possible. The crew spent time in quarantine before the start of the cruise.

Earlier this month, the Italian government gave its approval for cruise ships to once again depart from Italy’s ports. But cruise ships are being limited to 70% capacity.

MSC declined to say how many passengers were sailing on this cruise.

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