The UK Chamber of Shipping (CoS) has introduced framework documents for cruise ship operators to implement new measures with enhanced public health protection in co-operation with the industry sector.
These documents, which was shared with the UK government, and was produced in collaboration with CLIA, is the culmination of months of collaborative work between cruise operators, industry partners, and health experts, the CoS said.
The cruise sector is worth £10 bill to the UK economy and supports more than 88,000 jobs.
Launching the initiative, CoS CEO, Bob Sanguinetti, said: “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.
“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,” he stressed.
UK Maritime Minister, Robert Courts, added: “Our cruise industry has been hit hard by COVID-19 and the government has worked alongside the sector to prepare for a safe and successful restart.
“This industry framework puts passengers and workers at its heart and is an important step forward to allow cruises to prepare to set sail when safe to do so,” he said.
Andy Harmer, CLIA UK and Ireland Director, said: “This is the culmination of extensive dialogue and collaboration by representatives from across the maritime sector working together with government and national health authorities.
“The rigour and detailed planning that has gone into these framework documents demonstrates the commitment of the cruise industry to caring for public health and upholding a robust and uniform set of safety measures.
“This is an industry that supports more than 88,000 jobs and generates £10 bill to the economy each year and the industry is taking the necessary steps to be ready to restart in the UK when the time is right,” he stressed.
The documents advise on what measures should be considered and implemented on board for the safety of crew and passengers. It also details how cruise lines should communicate with passengers from the time of booking, travelling from their home, to a port, embarkation and throughout the voyage.
Similar information is laid out in detail for the safety of seafarers.
The passenger guidance provides advice on necessary considerations to be aware of before booking, and information of what to expect, including measures they will need to adhere to throughout the cruise.