Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which represents 95% of global ocean-going cruise capacity, along with its cruise line members have adopted mandatory health protocols that will be implemented as part of a phased-in, highly-controlled return to cruising. This is an important next step in North America following effective sailings in Europe, which are following strict health and safety protocols.
Highlights of the mandatory health 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 onboard and during excursions whenever physical distancing cannot be maintained
- Distancing. Physical distancing in terminals, onboard ships, on private islands and during shore excursions
- Ventilation. Air management and ventilation strategies to increase fresh air onboard and, where feasible, using enhanced filters and other technologies to mitigate risk
- Medical Capability: Risk based response plans tailored for each ship to manage medical needs, dedicated cabin capacity allocated for isolation and other operational measures, and advance arrangements with private providers for shoreside quarantine, medical facilities, and transportation.
- Shore Excursions: Only permit shore excursions according to the cruise operators’ prescribed protocols, with strict adherence required of all passengers and denial of re-boarding for any passengers that do not comply.
These protocols will require written verification of adoption by each cruise line company’s CEO, and are in addition to health and safety measures set by individual lines. These procedures will be continuously evaluated and adjusted against the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the availability of new prevention and mitigation measures.