Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has announced a major step forward in the cruise industry’s global response to COVID-19, with the adoption of mandatory measures to support cruise operations.
Kelly Craighead, CLIA president and CEO, told the virtual audience attending the annual Seatrade Cruise (virtual) conference this week that, in a world first, CLIA’s ocean cruise line members across the globe have agreed to conduct 100% testing of passengers and crew on all ships with a capacity of more than 250 guests.
A negative COVID-test is one of several boarding requirements among a robust set of health protocols to be implemented in a phased-in, highly controlled resumption of cruise line operations around the world.
“We are bouyed by every operational re-start announcement from our airline, cruise line, hotel and resort operator partners, and we applaud the work being done by CLIA in particular,” said Sarah Bush, Co-Founder & Director of The Travel Authority Group.
“We look forward to cruise ships returning to sea and delivering the wonderful travel experiences that our clients absolutely love,” added Bush.
CLIA’s announced protocols include –
TESTING: 100% testing of passengers and crew for COVID-19 prior to embarkation.
MASK WEARING: Mandatory wearing of masks by all passengers and crew whenever physical distancing cannot be maintained.
DISTANCING: Physical distancing in terminals, onboard ships, on private islands and during shore excursions.
VENTILIATION: Air management and ventilation strategies to increase fresh air onboard.
MEDICAL CAPABILITY: Risk based response plans tailored for each ship to manage medical needs.
SHORE EXCURSIONS: Only permit shore excursions according to the cruise operators’ prescribed protocols.
Informed by leading scientists, medical experts, and health authorities, the core elements are the product of extensive work by CLIA oceangoing cruise lines and their teams of eminent scientific and medical experts.
Describing the measures, CLIA Managing Director Australasia, Joel Katz remarked, “These initiatives are part of a response that goes far beyond the measures of other industries and involves stringent protocols covering the entire cruise experience, from booking to disembarkation.”
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