Showing how great things can be achieved when people work together, the maritime industry has united to develop a new Covid-19 framework for cruise operators.

The UK Chamber of Shipping, the trade industry for the UK shipping industry, has worked closely with the cruise industry over the past six months to develop the new framework documents – which include new measures for enhanced public health and safety.

Shared with the UK government, the framework has been produced in collaboration with CLIA (the Cruise Lines International Association), along with cruise operators, industry partners and health experts.

covid-19
Using hand sanitiser and wearing a face covering are included

The documents will help inform the restart of the cruise industry, with the UK Chamber of Shipping, CLIA and cruise lines continuing to work with the government on future restart plans.

The eight-chapter passenger document includes suggested measures for passenger life on board cruise ships post Covid-19.

This includes tips on travelling safely, reaffirms reasons not to travel (such as you’re experiencing Covid-19 symptoms) and details a list of requirements you should meet before boarding a cruise.

Measures prior to embarkation – such as screening – and during embarkation – such as health declarations – are included.

On board, the framework addresses food and beverage, suggesting tables should be pre-booked and you should only dine with your household or group, and that entertainment programmes should be adapted.

Shore excursions and visiting ports are also covered, suggesting that screenings upon re-embarkation, social distancing and the use of face coverings should be put into operation (even if not required in the destination).

Shore excursions: cruise
Travellers will have to social distance when ashore – unable to tour in groups

Other chapters include disembarkation and ways to remain safe on the ship and following the cruise.

“The cruise sector is a vital part of the UK economy. This new UK Chamber of Shipping Framework gives the government, passengers, crew and operators the confidence that the very latest science and medical advice has been included in the industry’s planning process,” said UK Chamber of Shipping chief executive Bob Sanguinetti as he launched the framework.

“A huge amount of time and effort has gone into this work and the new documents, which are fully supported by the sector, is a testament to the commitment of all concerned to protect the health and well-being of cruisers, seafarers and the public.

“We are not talking about restarting the sector tomorrow, but it is a vital first step in the process to get cruises sailing again when conditions allow and government guidance changes.”

Cruise giants Royal Caribbean International and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings have also been working together to create a new set of guidelines, forming a ‘Healthy Sail Panel’ to suggest new cruise ship protocols in the US.