Amidst Lockdown Woes, Here’s How An Italian Cruise Is Providing An Escape In A “Health Bubble”

While India enters the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries across Europe have already begun dealing with the third wave of the virus. Countries like Spain and Italy were among the countries that were affected the most by the pandemic since its inception. Reports suggest that while Italy has geared up for a third […]

edtimes

April 6, 2021

Lifestyle

5 min

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While India enters the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries across Europe have already begun dealing with the third wave of the virus. Countries like Spain and Italy were among the countries that were affected the most by the pandemic since its inception.

Reports suggest that while Italy has geared up for a third countrywide lockdown with new quarantines imposed, an Italian cruise liner is all set to offer some respite amidst lockdown woes. The MSC Grandiosa has been all “decked up” to provide a 7-day gala time for passengers a few miles offshore the Italian coast.

MSC Grandiosa

Passengers Party At Sea

Cruise ships were earlier considered to be a major source of infecting people with the virus because of the closed atmosphere and sharing of space that takes place. Although MSC Grandiosa’s initiative tries to create a “health bubble” for its passengers as precautions for the virus.

Passengers and crew members are tested for the virus before allowing them to go onboard. Mandatory masks along with frequent cleaning and temperature checks also contribute towards providing a comparatively hygienic environment on deck. The authorities have also developed contact wristbands for the passengers so that they can track who the passenger has communicated with, and isolate them in case of emergencies.

Moreover, the ship has set aside several cabins to tend to COVID-19 patients and isolate people to prevent an outbreak. To board the ship, a foreign national is to also bring a COVID-19 negative test taken 48- hours before arriving in Italy, along with the mandatory COVID-19 test taken before boarding the ship.

While the cruise claims to have taken all the necessary precautions and measures to also deboard people who get infected, passengers have shared how a mini-vacation in a time like this provided them with a much-needed break.

Italy was under a strict lockdown during the Easter weekend, with restaurants and bars only open for takeaways to control public gatherings. While Eater is one of the most awaited holidays in the country, the empty streets of Italy during the season was a sad sight to behold at the time. The cruise merely tried to offer its passengers a 7-day break by allowing its passengers access to all its activities, albeit in a controlled atmosphere.

Is It Safe To Be On A Cruise-Ship Right Now?

Due to the pandemic, the cruise ship industry witnessed a major hit in its earnings. According to a study by Cruise Lines International, only 20 ships have operated globally in 2020 with a total of 350,000 passengers, which is disastrously low for the industry to survive. Major companies sold their old ships to survive the pandemic.

Although at a time like this, one cannot expect life to go back to absolute normalcy. For a disease that is very easily spreading by contact, it is quite unsafe for people to opt for travelling even in a controlled environment, even if one is frustrated after a year-and-a-half-long struggle with the pandemic. On the other hand, there seems to be no end to the pandemic any time soon and one can only learn how to live with it, after taking necessary precautions of course.

While critics have bashed the move by the cruise liner, it is merely a desperate attempt by the industry to survive in a time like this.

Environmental critics have also complained that the industry is one of the major contributors to pollution due to the usage of cheap fuel, and could have effectively tried to use the “break” to come up with alternative solutions.

The idea of vacationing on a cruise ship as of now sounds quite inviting and it definitely has its pros and cons. The MSC Grandiosa has undoubtedly taken a bold step by resuming its Easter special cruise and the success of which will determine the near future of domestic cruise liners across Europe.

What are your opinions on vacationing during the pandemic? Let us know by commenting below.

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