Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings have finally got the results back from their Healthy Sail Panel, revealing the results in an online report.
The two cruise giants have been working together to create the most stringent and comprehensive series of on board health and safety protocols. The protocols will then be put in place when sailings resume for the two groups.
The panel has now submitted their findings to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which will then be used to shape the new protocols on board their ships.
The Healthy Sail Panel was created in June by Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, with the cruise lines enlisting the help of well-known US health experts.
Heading up the panel is Governor Mike Leavitt (former Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services) and Dr Scott Gottlieb (former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration) – with both serving as co-chairs of the group of experts.
Other members of the panel include globally recognised experts in medical practice and research, public health, infectious diseases, biosecurity, hospitality and maritime operations.
The Healthy Sail Panel’s 65-plus page report includes 74 detailed best practises to protect public health and safety of guests.
This includes using face coverings, enhanced hospital-grade deep cleaning methods on ships and at terminals and the testing of guests and crew.
Other key strategies include a robust screening process before embarkation, implementing detailed plans to address positive infection on board including contingencies for onboard treatment, isolation and rapid evacuation and repatriation) and closely controlling shore excursions. There will also be enhanced protection for crew members.
“The Healthy Sail Panel spent the last four months studying how to better protect the health and safety of guests and crew aboard cruise ships,” said Dr Scott Gottlieb.
“Taken as a comprehensive approach, we believe the Panel’s robust public health recommendations will help inform strategies for a safe resumption of sailing.”
“This Panel undertook an ambitious, cross-disciplinary, public health examination to develop standards and guidelines that create the highest level of safety in the complex environment of a cruise ship,” added Governor Mike Leavitt.
“We studied the industry’s experiences combating the pandemic – and we then incorporated the many lessons learned and advances made by medicine and science over the past six months.
“The Panel’s recommendations are grounded in the best scientific and medical information available and are intended to meaningfully mitigate public health risks to those who sail.”
Those who want to know what might be in store can find the full report here.