Published on : Thursday, September 24, 2020
Cruise Lines International Association recently confirmed that it has decided to adopt a new set of health protocols as part of a phased-in, highly controlled resumption of cruise operations in North America. With sailing starting effectively in Europe, the trade body informed that the latest move was a critical next step.
According to the new regulations, 100% of passengers and crew will be tested for COVID-19 as they board cruises. Usage of masks will be mandatory in all situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained. Air management and ventilation strategies have also been re-examined to increase fresh air onboard.
Shore excursions will only be permitted according to the cruise operators’ prescribed protocols, with strict adherence from all passengers. Cruise lines would be provided with the permission to even deny re-boarding to any passengers that do not comply with the rules.
According to the most recent economic impact study from CLIA, cruise activity in the United States supported over 420,000 American jobs and generated $53 billion annually in economic activity throughout the country prior to the pandemic. Therefore, each day of the suspension of U.S. cruise operations results in a loss of up to $110 million in economic activity and 800 direct and indirect American jobs.
Kelly Craighead, President, CLIA said in a statement that the organisation recognises the devastating impact of the pandemic, and the impact of the subsequent suspension of cruise operations, on economies throughout the world, including the nearly half a million members of the wider cruise community and small businesses in the Americas who depend on the vibrant industry for their livelihoods.
She also shared that based on the scenario in Europe, and following months of collaboration with leading public health experts, scientists, and governments, are confident that these measures will provide a pathway for the return of limited sailings from the United States before the end of this year.