MSC Cruises winter sailing plans in the Mediterranean have been disrupted by new Italian government Covid restrictions for the Christmas and new year period.

The decree has caused the cancellation of three future MSC Grandiosa departures and three sailings by MSC Magnifica .

MSC Grandiosa’s sailings have had to be paused while the planned restart of MSC Magnifica later this month has moved to January.

The measures include extensive restrictions to people’s mobility across the entire country, which would severely impact the ability of future passengers – Italian residents as well as international – to reach any of the ships’ embarkation ports in Italy, according to the line.

The government in Italy will almost completely restrict the movement of residents no longer only between regions, but also between cities and towns in its efforts to combat the pandemic ashore.

The measures will apply to residents of Italy between December 21 and 6 January 6 – effectively also restricting the ability of people from other countries to travel to and through Italy.

MSC Grandiosa’s seven-night sailingsfrom Genoa will be temporarily suspended on December 20 until January 10.

MSC Magnifica, which was due to re-start 10-night voyages in the west and eastern Med on December 18 from Genoa, will now commence its sailings January 15 following the cancellation of three previous departures.

MSC Cruises has handled more than 30,000 passengers since resuming sailings in August with  comprehensive health and safety protocols.