The Healthy Sail Panel was formed in June and is comprised of recognized experts experienced in areas of public health, infectious diseases, bio-security, and marine operations. The Panel has spent the last four months studying how to best protect the health and safety of guests and crew. They’ve made 74 recommendations in five core focus areas; they propose that every cruise line should address these to reduce the risk of infection and spread of COVID-19 on cruise ships:
Testing, Screening and Exposure Reduction
Sanitation and Ventilation
Response, Contingency Planning and Execution
Destination and Excursion Planning
Mitigating Risks for Crew Members
Among the recommendations are key strategies:
Taking aggressive measures to prevent COVID-19 from entering a ship. This means educating, screening, and testing of crew and guests before embarkation.
Reducing transmission onboard via air management strategies and sanitation and cleaning practices
Implementing detailed plans in case of a positive infection onboard. How will they handle treatment and isolation onboard as well as when and how to evacuate the ship.
Closely controlling shore excursions. This might include robust testing of tour group leaders and transportation providers, and it may mean passengers may only participate in ship-sponsored tours.
Enhanced protection for crew members
Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines were the primary leaders to organize the Healthy Sail panel. They will use the Panel’s recommendations to develop specific new detailed operating protocols which will be submitted to the CDC and other regulators for review and approval in the next several weeks.
We\’re all hoping to return to safely sailing soon!