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EU Issues Guidelines for Possible Cruise Travel Restart

The EU recently issued guidance in preparation for the possible resumption of cruise ship operations in the aftermath of Covid-19.

More specifically, according to the 49-page “Interim Guidance for Restarting Cruise Operations” manual released under the EU’s Healthy Gateways program, all cruise operations must:

– Have a written contingency plan/outbreak management plan for Covid-19 for the prevention and control of possible cases on board. The plan must be prepared by the operating cruise line and submitted to the competent authority of at least one of the ports of call,

– Monitor the epidemiological situation, rules and restrictions worldwide ahead of journeys,

– Have arrangements in place for medical treatment ashore and ambulance services,

– Have arrangements in place for repatriation and crew changes,

– Have arrangements in place for quarantine of close contacts (exposed passengers or crew members with negative test results. The facilities should be agreed upon and pre-specified (eg hotels), as well as the cost recovery for the health measures implementation,

– Have arrangements for isolation of asymptomatic/ pre-symptomatic travelers. The facilities should be pre-specified (eg hospitals, hotels), as should the cost recovery for the health measure implementation,

– Have adequate testing capacity for potential infection on board or in cooperation with shore-based laboratories,

– Provide training to all persons intending to work on board (ship officers, crew members) as well as external contractors who interact with passengers or crew on board or ashore,

– Immediately report to the next port of call of any possible case on board the ship,

– Provide an estimate of the maximum number of passengers and crew on board, reduce the number of passengers and crew on board to ensure social distancing,

– Implement focused inspections for Covid-19 at boarding, on board each cruise ship, and ashore.

For the complete set of guidelines go here.

Earlier this month, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and its member lines welcomed the guidance, saying it signified the possible resumption of cruise travel in Europe.

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