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CEO DATELINE – Cruise operators unveil safety protocols to get industry underway again

Sept. 22, 2020

By William Ehart

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Cruise lines are telling the Centers for Disease control that they have plans to enable their ships to sail again safely.

The Cruise Lines Industry Association and, separately, two of its members sent recommended safety protocols to the agency Monday, the last day for public comment about resuming cruises during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Miami Herald reported. The CDC has banned U.S. cruises until Oct. 1, and most operators say their ships won’t sail again until at least Oct. 31.

CLIA said in a statement the recommendations included six core elements:
    •    Testing all passengers and crew before embarkation.
    •    Requiring social distancing in terminals, ships, private islands and shore excursions.
    •    Mandating masks when distancing is not possible.
    •    Improving ventilation and using enhanced air filters.
    •    Increased medical support.
    •    Restrictions on shore excursions and refusal to reboard passengers who fail to comply with protocols.

A CDC spokesperson told the Herald by email that the agency has not requested plans to resume passenger cruises from the companies.

“Currently, CDC does not have enough information to say when it will be safe for cruise ships to resume passenger operations,” the spokesperson. “CDC will continue to work with cruise lines to ensure that all necessary public health procedures are in place before cruise lines begin sailing with passengers.”