Plain sailing with vaccinations

MSC’s MSC Virtuosa will be able to carry more passengers after an update in government rules

MSC Cruises has amended its passenger vaccination rules – now requiring all adult guests to be fully vaccinated – after a change in government policy allowing increased ship capacity.

The move follows a decision by the Department for Transport to permit an expansion in passenger numbers to up to 50 per cent of a ship’s capacity – provided guests are fully vaccinated.

Sailings could previously operate with up to 1,000 passengers or 50 per cent capacity, whichever is lower.

In a statement announcing its policy change, MSC said its focus “was on inconveniencing as few guests as possible in this rapidly changing environment”.

“It will, however, understandably frustrate a number of our guests who had already booked their holiday with us for voyages but are not yet fully vaccinated,” the line said.

“While we regret that this change to the capacity limits will disrupt their travel plans and our ability to accommodate some guests as originally planned, the capacity increase allows us to protect many more guests’ holidays which would have been otherwise affected by the recently announced delay of the easing of Covid restrictions.

“We are now contacting affected guests to offer them options for their holiday, including rescheduling, refunds and exemptions.”

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