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  • Writer's pictureDean Nelson, (he/him) CTC, LLD

Sailing safely in a Pandemic

Updated: Oct 7, 2020

CLIA - Cruise Line International Association share standardized protocols

The international association for the cruise industry along with its members have made a commitment to do everything they can to keep passengers and crew members safe. This includes adapting a worldwide standard for testing all guests and crew before boarding cruise ships with a capacity of 250 guests or more, for COVID-19.

Norwegian and Royal’s Healthy Sail Panel Makes Recommendations to CDC

A marathon of four months of studying how exactly cruise lines can best return to sailing, NCL and Royal’s Healthy Sail Panel has submitted its recommendations for the industry’s return to sailing to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The panel, which was formed in June, released a 65-plus-page report on Monday, detailing the best practices that cruise lines should take to protect both their crew members and their guests. The report makes 74 total recommendations of best practices, including testing, face masks, and new sanitation and disinfection.

“The Healthy Sail Panel spent the last four months studying how to better protect the health and safety of guests and crew aboard cruise ships,” said Dr. Scott Gottlieb the former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Gottlieb, along with former Utah Governor and Sec. of Health and Human Service Mike Leavitt, was one of the forces guiding the research.

“Taken as a comprehensive approach, we believe the Panel’s robust public health recommendations will help inform strategies for a safe resumption of sailing.”

The full report with all 74 recommendations is available here, most of which are designed to prevent COVID-19 from getting onboard and then treating and stopping a potential infection, but some highlights from the report include:

  • “Individuals who have received a positive SARS-CoV-2 test or who have in the last 14 days been in close contact with an individual with confirmed infection should not be permitted to board the ship.”

  • “Cruise operators should employ routine symptom screening methodologies to help ensure that potential SARS-CoV-2 infections are identified as quickly as possible.”

  • “Cruise operators should conduct once-daily temperature checks for guests and crew on board.”

  • “To prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, cruise operators should require guests and crew to wear cloth face coverings/face masks in accordance with CDC recommendations.”

  • “Enhanced sanitation protocols should be employed to protect against the risk of SARSCoV-2 transmission via inanimate surfaces or objects, with attention to both high- and low-touch areas of the ship, terminal, and cruise line-owned and operated destinations.”

  • “As a part of augmenting onboard medical capacity to ensure preparedness for potential COVID-19 cases, cruise operators should increase their existing ratios of medical personnel to guests and crew.”

  • “Cruise operators should increase the capacity in their onboard medical facilities to treat patients who may become critically ill from SARS-CoV-2 infection or other unrelated illnesses.”

  • “Cruise operators should designate certain cabins on the ship as isolation and quarantine spaces.”

Now, Royal and Norwegian will both take the recommendations to develop new operations and protocols in anticipation of a possible return to sailing later this year (both could return as soon as November). The CDC, which asked for public comment on the return to cruising, will also take the recommendations under consideration.

Do these recommendations give you the confidence to set sail on the high seas again? Click here to leave a comment or set up an appointment to help you plan your next getaway.


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