Cruise ends early after previous passengers test positive for coronavirus

Costa Diadema is heading back to Genoa
Costa Diadema is heading back to Genoa Credit: ERIC BERACASSAT

Costa Cruises have cut short a voyage in the Mediterranean after seven passengers tested positive for Covid-19 on a previous journey.

The Costa Diadema, the second ship in the fleet to resume sailing since the industry’s suspension in March, is headed back to Genoa, Italy. The line is sailing on behalf of a French tour operator and only passengers from France are on board.

It set sail from the port on October 12.

It comes after seven passengers were diagnosed with coronavirus on board and disembarked the ship in Palermo, Sicily, on October 9. 

In a statement to The Telegraph, a spokesman confirmed that the seven cases were all asymptomatic, being identified “thanks to [Costa’s] strict Covid-19 testing process”, and that the ship continued with its itinerary once the affected passengers were taken off the vessel.

The spokesman added that all steps were “in full compliance with Italian health protocols” as well as in line with internal protocols “that go even beyond government requirements”.

The cruise ship only departed on Monday Credit: PAOLO CAMPANA

Authorities in Italy allowed the ship on Monday after all crew members tested negative for coronavirus.

And the unexpected ending to the latest cruise is unrelated to the cases of Covid-19 on the ship and instead due to “the evolution in the epidemiological situation in France”, according to the Italian line.

“[The decision was taken] in order to allow a safe return home for the French passengers and to ensure the health of our crews and the communities we visit.”

France is facing a surge in cases of the virus, with a record 30,000 cases reported today. The Government has introduced a curfew, from 9pm until 6am, for the next four week, which will apply to Paris and its suburbs as well as Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Saint-Etienne, Rouen, Toulouse, Grenoble and Montpellier.

Costa Cruises did not respond to requests for more information, such as the number of passengers on board.

It has a maximum capacity of just under 5,000 but is likely to have been sailing far less due to anti-Covid measures.

The cruise line currently has three ships in operation: Costa Deliziosa, Costa Diadema and Costa Smeralda.