Eight passengers have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 on board Costa Cruises’ Costa Diadema.
Roger Frizzell, a spokesperson for Carnival Corporation, the parent company to Costa Cruises, confirmed the news on USA Today on Friday.
The Italian-based cruise ship left Genoa on 28 September, returning on 12 October after being chartered by a French company and carrying all French passengers, according to USA Today.
It then departed on a 14-day journey with many of the same passengers but was forced to end after just four days when France reinstated its state of health emergency in reaction to COVID-19.
“All guests were tested and required to be negative to board,” Frizzell said told USA Today.
“Following excursions in Greek islands, (they were) tested again before returning to Italy, and seven preliminarily tested positive.”
On 10 October, those who tested positive disembarked in Palermo, where they were isolated in dedicated onshore facilities. All seven were asymptomatic.
Frizzell said contact tracing onboard identified one other passenger displayed symptoms of COVID-19, who later tested positive and disembarked in Naples.
No other passengers tested positive, according to the cruise line.
A statement from Costa Cruises obtained by USA Today said the cruise was cut short due to the “epidemiological situation in France and the new limitations introduced by the French government”.
“The responsible choice was taken in order to allow a safe return of passengers to their country,” the cruise line said.
France appears to be going through a second wave of the deadly COVID-19 virus, with the country’s health ministry reporting over 25,000 new cases on Monday and more than 30,000 the day before, according to ABC News.
Costa Cruises restarted cruise operations in September, starting with Costa Deliziosa offering weekly cruises from Trieste on 6, 13, 20 and 27 September, visiting five destinations in southern Italy, including Bari and Brindisi in Puglia, Corigliano-Rossano in Calabria, and Siracusa and Catania in Sicily.
Costa Diadema followed on 19 September from Genoa, calling at Italian ports in the western Mediterranean, including Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Palermo, Cagliari and La Spezia.
The itineraries were initially for Italian guests only.
Travel Weekly has contacted Costa Cruises for comment.
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