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Brazil eliminates Covid vaccination requirements for cruise passengers

Submitted by kgnadmin on

Preparations for the upcoming South American cruise season are well underway, with a record number of cruise ships scheduled to visit 17 destinations in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. The 2022/2023 season will be the longest one in the past decade, spanning from October 29, 2022 to April 20, 2023. The leaders in the region’s cruise market MSC and Costa Cruises will deploy a total of eight ships.

MSC Cruises has expanded its market share with five ships: MSC Armonia, MSC Fantasia, MSC Preziosa, MSC Seashore and MSC Seaview.

Costa Cruises is strengthening its position in the Brazilian market with the deployment of three cruise ships: Costa Favolosa, Costa Firenze and Costa Fortuna.

Anvisa Eliminates Covid vaccination requirements for cruise passengers

Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (Anvisa) announced this year's health and safety which will apply to cruise ships. Surprisingly the easing of the Anvisa health regulations goes beyond the current requirements of the cruise operators.

In its latest announcement published on September 29, Anvisa said that guests boarding cruise ships from Brazilian ports need to present proof of vaccination OR negative test result within 24 hours before departure. 

On crises of six nights or more, cruise passengers must present travel insurance and present a negative test or RT-PCR performed 24 hours before departure. 

On cruises of five nights or less, passengers can choose to take the test or show proof of full Covid-19 vaccination. 

The requirement for face masks is no longer mandatory, although strongly recommended. The use of a mask only remains mandatory in specific situations, such as in cases of people who have had contact with those who suspect they are sick or have confirmed they have the virus, and in the case of quarantine on the vessel, when all occupants must wear a mask. There won’t be constant monitoring of the health situation of travelers on board, with daily testing on passengers and crew. Anvisa also revoked the ban on collective events at terminals, on simultaneous operations at the same terminal, and on the mandatory complete vaccination of terminal workers. The limit of 75% occupancy of the vessel was also revoked. In this latest decision, Anvisa maintained the obligation of free medical care on board for suspected cases, the testing of suspected cases and close contacts, the need for isolation for suspected cases on board, in addition to the existence of a plan to prevent and respond to Covid. -19 on board. Vessels must ensure a minimum reservation of 2% of cabins for isolation of confirmed and suspected cases.

Vaccination requirement for guests sailing on Costa and MSC ships remains

Following the latest Anvisa announcement, the cruise lines are expected to react and adjust their Covid protocols. So far this has not been the case with MSC Cruises announcing that the obligation for the Covid19 vaccine will no longer be a requirement for some regions but not for South America. Starting October 1, guests embarking on MSC Cruises ships in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Red Sea, the Caribbean and the Antilles will not be required to show proof of vaccination. In the same geographic areas, guests who are fully vaccinated (two doses of vaccine or one dose of Johnson & Johnson) will no longer be required to submit a negative swab result, but it is still recommended.

The latest announcement by Costa Cruises says that from 8 October 2022, all guests who are under the age of five or immunized against Covid-19 will no longer be required to take a pre-boarding antigen test for cruises in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and the United Arab Emirates. For the rest of the passengers, Covid vaccination is a requirement.