Costa Cruises return to operations next month will be restricted to passengers from its home country of Italy only.

However, the company also confirmed the extension of its pause in operations until September 30 for all the other cruises.

The Carnival Corporation brand is to resume sailing with one-week itineraries on two ships.

Costa Deliziosa will depart from Trieste and Costa Diadema from Genoa.

The cruises “will be reserved exclusively for Italian guests, with one-week itineraries calling at Italian ports only, allowing to rediscover in safety Italy’s finest destinations,” the company said.

“The decision was made considering the evolution of the epidemiological scenario and taking in account the regulation issued by the Italian Ministry of Health regarding mandatory checks for travellers returning from some European and foreign destinations, which suggests a cautious approach.

“Therefore, this solution will allow Costa guests to better enjoy their holiday, with less worries.”

Costa Deliziosa will sail on September 6, 13, 20, 27 and Costa Diadema on September 19, with further itineraries to be announced “as soon as possible”.

The line said: “Costa is working for a responsible and safe resumption of its cruises starting from 6 September, as already announced in recent days, tirelessly monitoring the epidemiological situation that is constantly evolving.

“The company hopes that from October the situation will allow to welcome on board its ships also guests of other nationalities.”

The company added: “Costa is continuing to work in close cooperation with flag state authorities, Italian regions, local institutions, health authorities, harbour master’s offices, ports and terminals and RINA to ensure a responsible, smooth and well organised application of the new regulations and protocols approved by the Italian government for the restart of cruises.”

The move follows rival MSC Cruises announcing the resumption of sailings in the Mediterranean from Sunday (August 16).