- EMSA and EDC publishes the joint guidance to facilitate the gradual restart of cruise ship operations which were seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- A goal-based approach is proposed in the guidance comprising of measures to be taken on ship and ashore.
- It also addresses the health-related problems concerning passengers, crews and visited communities to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19.
A recent news published in the EMSA website reveals the updated guidance that should be followed on cruise ships for the safety of passengers, crews and other vested communities during this coronavirus pandemic.
Guidance for EU/EEA and EU/EEA ports
The guidance is meant for cruise ships flying flags of countries of the European Union and the European Economic Area (EU/EEA) that are engaged in international voyages and for cruise ships calling at an EU/EEA port.
EMSA Executive Director, Maja Markovčić Kostelac and ECDC Director Andrea Ammon highlighted:“The joint EMSA-ECDC guidance on resumption of cruise ship operations in Europe is another example of added value for the EU citizens by building on synergies between EU agencies.”
“The cooperation of the main parties involved – from cruise companies to port authorities – is essential to restart cruise operations and to respond to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important at this stage to facilitate the gradual recovery of this segment of the maritime sector by building trust in all stakeholders involved through the implementation of the highest safety standards”.
The recommendations presented in the joint guidance focus on fostering cooperation between all parties involved.
It also focuses measures that would enable cruise ships to gradually resume operations under the ensuing pandemic.
More specifically they cover:
- the development of a Company and Ship Management Plan based upon tailor-made COVID-19 risk assessment by the (cruise) company, proposing also suitable mitigation measures;
- the development of a Management plan for each Member State/port/terminal that receives cruise ships, for which measures are also suggested;
- recommended elements on which the (cruise) company and the port/terminal receiving the ship should agree in advance, including cooperation in case of a COVID-19 outbreak on board.
Adina Vălean, Commissioner for Transport said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the cruise industry to a halt. Before passengers consider returning to this type of holiday, they need to be reassured of the highest safety standards, as need to be those cities receiving them during their journey.”
“The EMSA-ECDC guidance provides concrete recommendations to ship operators and port authorities which should be implemented before cruises set sail again. I recall the ultimate responsibility of cruise operators for their passengers and crews, and invite them to implement today’s guidance, while working closely with port authorities for the safe resumption of their services”.
Importantce of personal protective measures
It is essential to be aware of personal protective measures such as physical distancing, respiratory etiquette, meticulous hand hygiene.
Important to avoid touching the face, nose, eyes and mouth are important to reduce infection risks.
The use of a face mask should be considered as a complementary measure, especially when physical distance cannot be maintained, as a way to control for droplet spreading for both crew and passengers.
For more information read here
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