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No Sail order lifted in US – but cruising still has plenty of hurdles

November 2, 2020 Cruise, Headline News No Comments Email Email

After nearly eight months, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has lifted the No-Sail Order that has restricted all cruise travel to and from the United States, There is still a long way to go however.

Cruise operators will have to comply with a long list of new regulations including simulated (mock) voyages with volunteers playing the role of passengers to test the line’s ability to mitigate COVID-19 risk. Even more frustrating for the industry is the fact that despite lifting the order the CDC is still urging Americans to avoid all cruise travel which poses problems from an insurance perspective:

Most policies will not cover travel to a place where a warning against all travel has been issued. So how will life be for cruise passengers as the industry builds up steam from Australia probably in January next year?

There are a few cruise lines operating at the moment quite successfully – SeaDream Yacht Club,  the smallest, is a good example. Here is this premium operator’s list of regulations for a virus free sailing.

• Embarkation will be staggered with time slots between Noon to 6 PM or later if you have a late flight.
• Upon embarkation, you will be greeted by our Doctor who will take your sample and run the test using Abbott ID Now machine which will give the negative result within 15 minutes.
• Using a Thermal Scanner, we will record your temperature for a daily temperature log. This Scanner will also be used while re-embarking the Yacht after any shoreside visits. This takes just a second.
• While entering the Yacht, you will notice special floor mats which are there to clean and sanitize your shoes.
• Your stateroom will be pre-sanitized using Altapure AP-4 which is an advanced ultrasonic fogger used for high-level disinfection in hospitals, burn units, and clean rooms.
• Our hospital onboard is well stocked with all necessary medications and PPE. Each Yacht has an experienced doctor onboard at your service.
• We will use UV lamps, in addition, to sanitize the staterooms on a daily basis.
• Our crew members also undergo frequent health checks to ensure safety on board.
• All our crew members are certified for the WHO’s Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) for novel coronavirus course and CoVid-19 Contact tracing course from Johns Hopkins University.
• Our crew members will serve you and carefully place your buffet selections onto your plate as you request.
• Onshore excursions will be limited to predesignated places in an organised fashion.
Written by Ian McIntosh

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