Among precautionary measures announced by ministers on Tuesday, April 28, is a prohibition on cruise ships visiting the Principality, at least in the near future. Minister of Finance Jean Castellini said a number of businesses would be affected by the decision.

The Government’s thinking is influenced by the potential danger that a visiting cruise ship could represent to the local population if there were to be an outbreak of coronavirus on board. Monaco has limited resources if it were necessary to allow affected passengers to disembark and seek treatment locally.

In September last year P&O Cruises Azura, moored in the bay, was unable to board several hundred passengers due to return from shore due to heavy seas, and Monaco housed the passengers overnight in a basketball court.

Although the ruling is temporary, a number of environmental advocates would welcome a permanent exclusion of cruise ships due to the pollution generated by the vessels. A study by Transport & Environment claimed that Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest luxury cruise operator, emitted nearly 10 times more sulphur oxide around European coasts than did all 260 million European cars in 2017. Cruise ships rely on their own generators to power their electrical systems when moored offshore.

PHOTO: Mein Schiff 1, a frequent visitor to Monaco