Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) recommended to the Ministry of Health the provisional suspension of all maritime cruises for the evaluation of the epidemiological scenario.
According to the regulatory agency, the recommendation was due to the sudden increase in cases of Covid-19 infection detected on vessels operating cruises and also due to the omicron variant.
The recommendation was made because the exceptional and temporary restriction measures for entry into the country, via highways, ports or airports, and for interstate locomotion are under the joint competence of the ministers of Health, Justice, Public Security and Infrastructure.
Anvisa argued that the release of cruises occurred before the identification of the omicron variant, which has the potential to spread faster than other variants and which may bypass part of the immunological protection of vaccines.
The cruises returned to sailing on November 1st in Brazil after an ordinance from the federal government. After this authorization, Anvisa approved a sanitary protocol for the resumption of activities.
The agency’s recommendation also considered that, in practice, there have been difficulties imposed by local entities in view of the need for eventual landings of positive cases for Covid-19 in their territories provided for in the operational plan.
After epidemiological investigations carried out by Anvisa and by the local health authorities, two ships had their activities interrupted this Friday, the Costa Diadema, which was docked in Salvador, and the MSC Splendida, which is in the Port of Santos.
Anvisa reported on Thursday (30) that there was the identification of 146 cases of Covid in two cruise ships.
“Anvisa’s statement was based on the principle of precaution, by prioritizing the prevention of the occurrence of harm to health by adopting the necessary measures for its protection”, he said in a statement.
According to Anvisa’s protocol, only people who took the Covid-19 vaccine can embark in the country. Vaccines that are part of the PNI (National Immunization Program) and those recognized by the WHO (World Health Organization) are valid.
In addition to vaccination, the use of a mask is mandatory on board and in passenger terminals. Inside the vessels, the distance between groups of travelers must be at least 1.5 meters.
Every day, at least 10% of the people working on the vessel and 10% of the passengers have to be tested. Crew members must be tested more frequently, especially those involved in food services and those who have direct contact with passengers.