MSC Orchestra crew to disembark on Monday and fly straight home

Durban – The disembarkation of all crew aboard the MSC Orchestra, which is currently docked at the Port of Durban, will be completed on Monday in line with the availability of flights to their home countries. 

The crew will be allowed to board flights which will take them straight home. 

More than 2000 passengers who disembarked from the vessel underwent strict screening and health checks. They were predominantly South African residents. This is according to South African Maritime Safety Authority acting chief executive, Sobantu Tilayi.

After the vessel’s departure on Monday, a row erupted on social media with users calling on MSC Cruises to adhere to the regulations. 

Tilayi said passengers were not allowed to disembark in Pomeme during the cruise and MSC cancelled the remainder of its local cruise season. 

"The passengers are required to leave the country via the quickest possible means as directed by the Department of Home Affairs. Once provisioned, these vessels are required to also leave the port," he said. 

Tilayi said a key focus for vessels disembarking passengers was to minimise any chances of contamination.

"SAPS managed the MSC Orchestra disembarkation of passengers at the Port of Durban on Friday. The passengers were only allowed to disembark in batches of 100 because the new Regulations prohibit gatherings of 100 people or more in any port precinct."

"Among various meticulous processes, each passenger had to have temperature checked and luggage sanitised," he said.

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