BRASILIA (Reuters) – Cruise ship companies in Brazil will suspend most operations until Jan. 21, an industry association said on Monday, after health authorities recommended against cruise ship travel following several offshore outbreaks of the coronavirus.
The industry association Clia said no ships will cast off during the “voluntary” suspension period, which could be extended, while those at sea will complete their voyages.
Last week, Brazil’s national health regulator Anvisa recommended cruise companies temporarily pause operations after five ships off Brazil’s coast registered over 300 new COVID-19 cases.
“During this pause, Clia is working on behalf of the cruise companies that operate in the country – MSC Cruzeiros and Costa Cruzeiros – to look for points of alignment with the federal government, Anvisa, states and municipalities,” the association said in a statement.
MSC Cruzeiros and Costa Cruzeiros are subsidiaries of Swiss-Italian cruise line MSC Cruises and Carnival Corp, respectively. Clia made its announcement after federal, state and municipal officials met with representatives of the tourism industry about the issue.
(Reporting by Ricardo Brito and Lisandra Paraguassu; Writing by Gram Slattery; editing by Grant McCool)