One industry that has been significantly affected by the global health crisis is the cruising industry.
Last week, Disney executives noted that Disney Cruise Line would be one of the last sectors to return right before the company extended the sailing suspension through December. Now, we’re getting an idea of what it will take for cruise lines to embark safely in the wake of the global health crisis.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Healthy Sail Panel has released a report detailing 74 safety recommendations for cruise lines to follow for a safe reopening. Let’s take a look at some of the most prevalent of those recommendations.
The panel suggests that anyone planning to sail should have taken a COVID-19 test and received a negative result between five days and 24 hours ahead of departure. Those who test positive and the rest of their party should not come to the port. At the port, guests should be screened for symptoms with questionnaires and temperature checks.
Aboard the ship, the report recommends that passengers and crew follow CDC guidelines including social distancing and the wearing of face coverings indoors. The panel recommends that anyone refusing to follow safety protocols will not be allowed to board. It is also recommended that the ships themselves receive upgraded HVAC systems to improve air circulation.
Like with many other industries, the report suggests a phased return to cruising. Lines could potentially use short cruises that travel to private islands. The panel did not recommend a capacity limit but noted that single-person cabins should be available for crew and that crew should follow health guidelines as well.
If someone were to become sick with COVID-19 symptoms onboard, they (and anyone they came in contact with) should be quarantined in a separate area and should be able to leave the ship and travel back to the mainland for treatment. Recommendations also call for increasing the medical personnel-to-passenger ratio.
The recommendations are extensive. The report notes, “The pandemic presents serious challenges, but we believe that with the ongoing advances in areas such as testing and therapies, our recommendations provide cruise operators with a robust set of thoughtful preparations, innovations, strengthened protocols, and enhanced facilities preparedness that will enable them to safely resume sailings.” You can read all 74 recommendations here.
As you might recall, cruises are under a no-sail order through the end of the month and Disney Cruise Line has suspended sailings into December. Before any cruises can sail, they must enact a CDC-approved plan for a safe return to sailing. This report could be a big first step in that direction for Disney Cruise Line.
As always, stay tuned to DFB for the latest updates!