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Costa Cruises will pause operations of its Costa Deliziosa for seven weeks after it reaches Trieste, Italy, on Saturday, the company announced.
When the ship resumes sailing on Dec. 26, it will stick to an Italian itinerary in the Adriatic Sea and eastern Mediterranean, according to Costa.
The change in plans was necessitated by a new nationwide coronavirus lockdown the Greek government announced Thursday. The monthlong lockdown only allows residents to leave their homes for essential reasons, such as for work, physical exercise and medical needs, and they must send a text message to authorities first, the Associated Press reported.
“Costa Cruises' highest responsibility and top priorities are compliance, environmental protection and the health, safety and well-being of its guests, crew, shoreside employees, and the people and communities its ships visit – and that commitment is reflected in the decision to temporarily pause Costa Deliziosa cruise operations in Greece,” the company said in its announcement.
Costa is based in Italy. Another of its ships, the Costa Smeralda, will continue its current Italy-only cruises as scheduled.
The cruise line had just returned to limited service in September with added health protocols designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Another Carnival-owned company, AIDA, also returned to service last month but was forced to suspend operations due to a new round of travel restrictions in Germany just two weeks later.
Meanwhile, Carnival Corp.’s North American brands have extended their pause through the end of the year as the company works to meet CDC requirements for an eventual return to cruising.
The CDC just ended its no-sail order at the end of October and released new requirements cruise lines will need to meet in order to welcome back passengers.