Some changes and new rules like wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing, and increasing fresh air into ventilation systems could allow the cruising to return in the US before the end of the year 2020.
On Monday, The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which is an industry body that represents most of the world-class cruise lines, announced mandatory core elements of new health regulations required for the return of cruising in the United States. CLIA says these new rules will provide a safe and healthy cruising experience.
The key elements of the new health regulations were informed by a team of medical experts and health authorities and were decided by CLIA cruise lines and their teams of medical experts.
Also, in a press conference, CLIA officials informed that they are inspired by the recent spate of European sailings, lead by MSC Cruises in late August.
Hard time for Cruising Industry in the US
Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald said that Shut down of the cruise industry during the Coronavirus pandemic is the most difficult period for this industry in almost 50 years of history. He also pointed out that no other industries in the world were shut down through regulatory ordinance.
Currently, Cruising out of US ports is banned through a No Sail Order from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) until at least 31 October.
Cumulative CDC data from March 1 through July 10, 2020, reported that a total of 2,973 Covid-19 or COVID-like illness cases on cruise ships and 34 deaths reported on cruise ships. According to the data, 80 percent of cruising ships under the US administration were affected.
New Rules for the return of Cruises in the US
For new cruising normal, testing will be the starting point of new regulations. All the guests should be tested prior to the beginning of the journey followed by additional temperature screening throughout the journey.
Meanwhile, crew members will be tested frequently, before departure from their homes, before the beginning of a new journey, and upon 7-day quarantine.
CLIA said the testing is the critical component of the proposed return of Cruising in US Waters.
Face masks will also be a necessary component and will be compulsory while onboard and during the trip whenever social distancing cannot be maintained.
CLIA also plans to Implement onboard air management strategies that will provide fresh air into ventilation systems, and where feasible, using enhanced filters and other technologies to maximize system effectiveness and reduce the risk of infection.
If a person tests positive to the Infection while on the journey then the goal is to disembark the person as soon as possible. CLIA says prearranged logistics with port partners and destinations will allow Covid-19 cases to be disembarked safely.