100 percent testing of crew and passengers
The Cruise Lines International Association has said that the industry will adopt 100 percent testing of crew and passengers as it seeks to create a safe environment for cruising amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m pleased to announce that effective today all CLIA Ocean cruise line members worldwide have agreed to conduct 100 percent testing of passengers and crew on all ships with a capacity to carry 250 or more persons — with a negative test required for any embarkation,” Kelly Craighead, CLIA Global CEO, said at the Seatrade Cruise virtual conference.
“Recognising no measure in isolation is sufficient to prevent the introduction onboard of COVID-19, we see testing as an important initial step to a multi-layered approach that we believe validates the industry’s commitment to making health, safety, and the well-being of the passengers, the crew, and the communities we visit our top priority,” she added.
Meanwhile CLIA Global Chairman Adam Goldstein said there was no one silver bullet to protect the industry from COVID-19, but rather a multilayered approach was needed.
“It’s not a case of one approach being bulletproof but layers of protection and capabilities to deal with the fight against COVID on board, including testing prior to boarding but also constant monitoring, plus the wearing of masks, social distancing, increased handwashing, control of shore excursions,” he said.
Referencing the successful return to cruising in Europe, Goldstein added: “What we have heard from the passengers who have joined cruises under these new protocols is that they are happy to conform and I am confident we can enforce what needs to be enforced and the demand is clearly still there.”
His comments struck a similar tone to remarks by Royal Caribbean Group CEO Richard Fain, who told travel advisers earlier in the week that “we intend to make our ships and environment a bubble” by adopting a “thorough and layered approach of several different operating protocols.”