Greece is temporarily restricting cruise ships from entering Greek ports and disembarking passengers, aiming to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The measure came in force on March 15 and applies to all cruise ships from any origin until April 15.
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) on Tuesday issued a statement underlining that cruise ships have been impacted by the closures of ports and suspensions of sailings in various parts of the world.
However, CLIA notes that its members are committed to the safety, health and wellbeing of passengers and crew, as well as the communities they visit.
“Given the unprecedented nature of this situation, we recognize the decision by the Council of Ministers to temporarily restrict entry into Greece of cruise ships and disembarkation of passengers. The health and safety of people must be put first in all decisions”, says Maria Deligianni, Regional Representative in Eastern Mediterranean, CLIA Europe.
Closed ports damage the cruise industry
According to CLIA, cruise tourism is a strong sector in Greece as well as a key contributor to development, economic growth and employment generating nearly 600 million euros per year and creating nearly 12,000 jobs annually, and even a temporary restriction will have damaging impacts that extend beyond the cruise industry.
CLIA encourages ports to allow access and safe harbor for cruise ships as needed to support the completion of their journeys home and in anticipation of the return to normal operations when appropriate.
“We will continue working with the authorities and all industry stakeholders to prepare for the resumption of sailings when it is appropriate,” Deligianni added.
CLIA is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association, providing a unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community.