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Published on Thursday, January 30, 2020

Costa Smeralda given all clear over suspected coronavirus

Costa Cruises' ship Costa Smeralda, is no longer in lockdown after tests showed a Chinese passenger with suspected coronavirus was suffering from flu.

The 54-year-old woman and her partner were put in isolation as the ship remained in Civitavecchia and the 7,000 passengers and crew were told they couldn't leave while tests were carried out.

Around 70 people on the ship were British holidaymakers, some of whom had been due to disembark at Civitavecchia on Thursday to fly home.

Costa said those who had been due to disembark could stay on the ship for an extra night, while passengers who had been due to join the ship on Thursday would be put up in a hotel close to the port and could embark on Friday.

The ship had made previous stops in Majorca, Barcelona and Marseille en route to Civitavecchia. It will miss out a planned port of call at La Spezia on Friday, and instead will leave Civitavecchia at 6pm for Savona, where it is due to arrive on Saturday.

Costa issued an update on Thursday evening, saying: "Costa Cruises have confirmed that Italian health officials diagnosed the passenger on board Costa Smeralda with the common flu.

"The situation on the ship, which is docked in Civitavecchia, has been under constant control and the crew have provided the best possible assistance. Guests who were in the meantime travelling to the terminal also found the Costa crew ready to assist them.

"Thanks to the protocols that are applied on board the fleet, last night our medical team promptly identified a suspected fever case in a 54-year-old woman, just a few hours before the ship's arrival in Civitavecchia. As soon as the case was discovered, the required precautionary procedures were immediately taken. The relevant authorities were informed and, on arrival of the ship in the port of Civitavecchia they carried out all the checks required.

"While we appreciate the inconvenience caused, the procedures in force and our cooperation with the health authorities were effective in managing this situation and were intended to ensure maximum safety for all our guests, crew and the community as a whole.

"The ship will skip the port of La Spezia, scheduled for tomorrow, and will remain docked at Civitavecchia until tomorrow, and then leave at 6pm for Savona, thus resuming its regular cruise program. Costa Cruises offers guests who should have disembarked today in Civitavecchia the opportunity to stay overnight on board, organising their return home from tomorrow morning.

"Guests who wish can still disembark at their convenience. Costa has already ensured that all guests supposed to embark today in Civitavecchia will spend the night in the hotels close to the port. They will embark tomorrow instead, together with guests from La Spezia.

"Costa Cruises would like to thank health authorities, Coast Guard and the ministries involved for their great support and organisational effort."

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