The MSC Meraviglia, which had been turned away from ports in Jamaica and Grand Cayman because a crew member reported signs of the common flu, has been cleared for disembarkation by Mexican health authorities in Cozumel. 

Mexican officials boarded the ship and conducted medical checks overnight to make sure that the crew member and a young female passenger, who also had the common flu, did not have Covid-19 coronavirus. 

Earlier this week, the ship had been denied entry to both Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and George Town, Grand Cayman, over concerns that the crew member, who had embarked in Miami after traveling through Manila, had coronavirus. The passenger later also exhibited signs of the flu. 

Once the ship arrived in Cozumel on Wednesday, the 4,580 passengers and 1,600 crew members were not allowed to disembark until the crew member and passenger were tested. 

The results were tested at a Mexican Ministry of Public Health laboratory in the city of Chetumal. It was determined that the crew member and guest do not have Covid-19 coronavirus. 

”The Mexican authorities followed the correct maritime protocols whereby a ship in advance provides medical records of any passenger or crew member who is or has been unwell to the next port she visits,” MSC Cruises executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said in a written statement.  

Passengers will now be allowed to spend a full day in Cozumel before departing tonight for the ship’s homeport in Miami. 

Vago said he was disappointed with decisions by Jamaica and Grand Cayman to bar passengers from disembarking there. 

“This led to unnecessary and unjustifiable anxiety, not only for our passengers and crew on board, but right across the Caribbean’s tourism sector, and possibly even further beyond,” he said.

Passengers will receive a 100 percent refund of their cruise fare.  

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