Two passengers on board MSC Cruises' Seaside ship tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, disembarking Tuesday during a scheduled port call at Siracusa, a city in Sicily, Italy.
Both passengers were asymptomatic and tested positive during a routine test scheduled midway through the itinerary during all MSC cruises, spokesperson Paige Rosenthal told USA TODAY Wednesday.
"Immediately after testing positive, the two passengers and their traveling parties were isolated," Rosenthal said. "Similarly, their close contacts were quickly identified and isolated."
Passengers traveling with the two guests tested negative, as did other close contacts.
All MSC passengers are required to take a test before leaving home 48 to 96 hours before the cruise's departure and one more before embarkation. "This was their third test," Rosenthal said.
After getting off the ship, the two passengers and accompanying parties were taken home by "protected MSC Cruises transport" in coordination with local health authorities.
MSC Seaside left Siracusa and is continuing on the itinerary as scheduled.
The passengers who tested positive and those in their party were not allowed to disembark in Malta where the ship docked before the Siracusa port call, given it was a technical stop and passengers were never meant to get off the ship, CNN reported.
Rosenthal said the two positive tests are "another demonstration" that the cruise line's health and safety protocol is working. MSC has been cruising in the Mediterranean since the summer.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MSC cruise passengers disembark in Italy after positive coronavirus tests