Costa Cruises, the Italian line that is a subsidiary of cruise giant Carnival Corp., will not be setting sail this Christmas or New Year’s Eve.
According a press release provided to USA TODAY, the cruise line will suspend its activities from Dec. 20 through Jan. 6, in compliance with efforts of the Italian government to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“The cancellation of Christmas and New Year’s Eve cruises, among the most popular of the year, therefore represents a further economic sacrifice for Costa Cruises and the entire industry, in a period that was already very difficult,” reads the release.
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Costa Cruises plans to resume sailing with its Costa Smeralda ship on Jan. 7, 2021.
Prior to the announcement, Costa Cruises had required passengers to test negative for COVID-19, with all passengers subject to an antigen test before embarking.
“The quick antigenic test will identify any suspicious cases that may be subjected to a PCR test for further check, thus determining the possibility of embarkation,” the cruise line said in an August release.
In October, Carnival Corp. spokesperson Roger Frizzel confirmed to USA TODAY that eight passengers who sailed on Costa Cruises’ Costa Diadema, which was chartered by a French company and had all French passengers, tested positive for COVID-19.
Costa Diadema was one of three Costa Cruises ships, including Costa Deliziosa and Costa Smeralda, to sail since the line resumed operations in the Mediterranean on Sept. 6.
Eight passengers test positive for COVID-19 on Costa Cruises ship
On an earnings call a week prior to the positive cases, Carnival Corp. touted that it had found a “way to go forward” with cruising in U.S. waters in 2020, thanks to Costa Cruises’ success. At the time, Costa Cruises had not seen a single case of COVID-19 on board its ships in the more than month-long period that it had been sailing.
Costa Cruises to require cruise passengers to test negative for COVID-19 before boarding
Contributing: Morgan Hines
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Costa Cruises cancels Christmas, New Year’s cruises in ‘further economic sacrifice’ amid COVID-19