MSC Opera avoided its scheduled call in Malta today which was a mutual agreement with authorities due to the threat of public unrest.
MSC Opera Skips Port of Call
The MSC cruise ship has not had it easy of late due to coronavirus fears which is hitting the industry hard. The ship ended up not making its scheduled call at Malta today to avoid public unrest.
Even though there are no cases of COVID-19 onboard, cruise ports such as Malta which is located in the central Meditteranean would rather keep them away to keep citizens safe, healthy and happy.
The Government of Malta came to a mutual agreement with MSC Cruises which resulted in the MSC Opera not making the call at the island. Here’s what the government stated:
The Government of Malta and MSC Cruises have reached a mutual agreement that, exclusively on the occasion of today, cruise liner MSC Opera will not enter Malta’s port. This decision has been taken following public alarm raised by misleading information given by a local media outlet through a story riddled with partial truths and erroneous details.
It is pertinent to note that according to information received by the Government and medical reviews and clearances granted by other foreign ports the ship has visited, there is no case of Coronavirus on board the MSC Opera which was planned to enter Malta.
Despite the established facts, the Maltese Government and MSC Cruises have decided to approve the re-routing of cruise liner MSC Opera so as to avoid further concern among the Maltese public. The Government of Malta appeals for responsibility and maturity in statements made in relation to the outbreak of Coronavirus.
The ship will instead sail to the next port of call in Messina, Italy and MSC has stated that it is expected to go ahead as normal on Sunday. The ship has been cleared by the health authorities in every port of call and no cases of the coronavirus are onboard.
This follows the news of the ship having to bring back passengers onboard during its call in Piraeus, Greece earlier in the voyage. The reason was an Austrian passenger on the previous cruise was tested positive for COVID-19 after disembarking. Thankfully the virus has not spread onboard with guests and crew remaining healthy.
MSC Opera is based in the Mediterranean with multiple calls in Italy so guests should keep an eye and check for official updates as the virus continues to spread in the country. According to John Hopkins, there are currently 4,636 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Italy and 197 deaths.