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Published on Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Family booted off MSC cruise for breach of new health and safety rules

A family has been kicked off the MSC Grandiosa cruise for breaking away from an organised shore excursion in Naples.

The cruise is the first by a major cruise line since the industry went into lockdown. No British guests have been allowed on the cruise, which is for residents of Schengen countries only.

The family was refused back onto the ship following an excursion in Naples for health and safety reasons.

Cruise Radio said the family had departed from the MSC excursion. In announcing the launch of the cruise, MSC insisted that passengers were only allowed to take its own excursions.

MSC said: "Ashore, guests will be able to enjoy the different destinations the ships visit, but this will be only as part of an organised MSC Cruises excursion that will be delivered with the same high standards of health and safety as on board.

"By taking this decision the company is able to ensure that every aspect of the guest's time ashore meets the appropriate standards of health and hygiene from ensuring that transfers are properly sanitised, that tour guides and drivers are wearing PPE, venues and sites to be visited are pre-screened through to ensuring there are reserved areas for MSC Cruises guests at attractions."

An MSC spokesperson added:  "In line with our health and safety protocol, developed to ensure the health and wellbeing of our guests, crew and the communities we visit, we had to deny boarding to a family who broke from their shore excursion yesterday while visiting Naples, Italy.

"By departing from the organized shore excursion, this family broke from the safe 'social bubble' that MSC Cruises created for them to safely enjoy their visit ashore, and therefore could not be permitted to re-board the ship. These organized shore excursions allow MSC Cruises to uphold the same high standard of health and safety as on board, for instance ensuring that transfers are properly sanitized and that there is adequate space for social distancing, and tour guides and drivers also undergo health screening and wear appropriate personal protective equipment."

MSC is planning another cruise, on the MSC Magnifica in the East Mediterranean from 29 August.

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