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Italian cruise line says it will require negative coronavirus tests from passengers

Italian cruise line says it will require negative coronavirus tests from passengers
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Italian cruise line Costa Cruises will impose mandatory COVID-19 tests on passengers and will require negative results before boarding.

The Carnival Cruise subsidiary, which is slated to resume operations on Sept. 6, said Tuesday that it will require anyone coming on board to take an antigen test.

"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 added.

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While antigen testing is not the most accurate form of COVID-19 testing methods, it does aid in quickly detecting potential infections and provides results in around 15 minutes. Antigen tests are also affordable and more abundant than other forms of coronavirus testing.

Other global cruise lines such are also implementing mandatory testing for passengers prior to boarding.

Carnival said Costa Cruises will initially resume operations on two vessels, the Costa Deliziosa and the Costa Diadema, and will only book Italian citizens.

The Costa Deliziosa will embark on five destinations across Italy with "protected shore excursions" for guests on the trip, the company said.

Costa's new health and safety protocol are in accordance with the Italian government's and EU Healthy Gateways program.

Other Costa ships are slated to depart after Sept. 30, when a hold on the cruise line's season is scheduled to expire.

Italy has recorded nearly 260,000 COVID-19 cases and 35,000 fatalities since the start of the pandemic earlier this year, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

According to the World Health Organization, there was a 2 percent rise in cases in Italy on Monday, with 1,200 new infections recorded.