Anvisa Recommends Suspension of the Brazilian Cruise Season

Jan 13, 2022

Brazilan cruise season could be canceled for the five cruise ships currently anchored off the coast of Santos, after the Health Regulatory Agency – Anvisa, recommended suspension of the 2021/2022 season due to the rapid rise of COVID cases aboard the ships and in the country. Several media outlets in Brazil report that Anvisa sent a document to the Ministry of Health which will have the final word about the faith of the season.

The recommendation was announced after verifying the “exponential increase” of covid-19 cases on all cruise ships sailing in Brazil, among the crew and guests. Since the start of the Brazil cruise season in November 2021, Anvisa has been monitoring cases, thanks to the defined protocols for cruise ships sailing in the country.

After the rise of Covid cases, MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises suspended cruise operations in Brazil until January 21. Since the temporary suspension, Anvisa evaluated the epidemiological scenario and given the increase in cases, both in the cruise sector and in the country, decided to recommend cancellation of the cruise season. 

“Anvisa understands that the current scenario is unfavorable to the continuity of cruise ship operations. In this sense, based on the precautionary measures and based on all available data, we recommended definitive suspension of the cruise ship season in Brazil, as a necessary action to protect the health of the population.” the Health Regulatory Agency said.

Since the start of the cruise season, Anvisa has documented 1,177 positive cases among the crew and passengers, which is a strong increase in cases on ships. 

This increase can be confirmed by the available data, that detected 31 cases in the initial 55 days of the season (from November 1 to December 25). A rapid increase of COVID cases was recorded between December 26 and January 6, when 1,146 cases were detected on the five Costa and MSC ships, which represents a 37-fold increase during this period.

The five ships that are part of the Brazilian 2021/2022 cruise season, MSC Seaside, MSC Precious, MSC Splendida, Costa Diadema and Costa Fascinosa, are currently anchored off the coast of Santos, Brazil.