Despite Coronavirus Scare, MSC Opera Welcomed in Corfu

MSC Opera (file image)

Published Mar 5, 2020 4:34 PM by The Maritime Executive

Over the course of the past month, the cruise ships Diamond Princess and Grand Princess both encountered quarantine measures when former passengers were diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. Other vessels have been denied port entry for calling at ports where COVID-19 has been documented, or for having individuals with confirmed cases of influenza on board.

MSC Opera had a different experience when she called at the Greek island of Corfu on Thursday. A former passenger from MSC Opera had been diagnosed with coronavirus in his home country of Austria on Tuesday, but after a review of the ship's records, health officials at the port of Corfu gave the vessel the all-clear. Her 1,579 passengers were allowed to disembark at the island port without additional public health measures. 

"All passengers were allowed to disembark as planned," MSC said in a statement. "Passengers or crew were never quarantined and everyone could make free use of the ship's facilities and restaurants before leaving Piraeus for Corfu yesterday."

On March 3, a former MSC Opera passenger was diagnosed with COVID-19 after returning to Austria. The affected individual had been aboard MSC Opera last week, disembarking at Genoa on Friday. 

MSC Opera was notified on March 4, and all of her crew and passengers were asked to remain on board at the port of Piraeus while health officials checked the ship. The authorities in Piraeus cleared MSC Opera to depart later the same day.