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CLIA proposes replacing Australia cruise ban with path to resumption

Joel Katz said authorities have been briefed in detail on the industry’s proposed layered strategy to resume cruising
The cruise industry is calling on Australia to replace the ban on cruising, which expires December 17, with a conditional process that would allow a carefully managed resumption in 2021.

CLIA Australasia MD Joel Katz said extensive new health measures have been outlined to government agencies in detail as the industry responds to COVID-19 and plans a pathway to revival.

A$5bn industry

He said Australia’s relative success in stemming community transmission of COVID-19 and a layered strategy for the resumption of cruising creates an opportunity for a tightly managed and phased revival of the country’s A$5bn-a-year cruise industry.

Local cruises for locals

‘This would initially involve restricted local cruises for local residents only, with limited passenger numbers, 100% testing of guests and crew and extensive screening and sanitation protocols in place,’ he said.

Under the proposals presented to government agencies, cruises would initially operate within state or national borders while travel restrictions are in place.

Australian ‘bubble’

Ships and crew would undergo all quarantine procedures and then remain within the Australian safe-zone or ‘bubble.’

Katz said the plan presented to government is extensive and meets or exceeds the Communicable Diseases Network of Australia guidelines.

Key points to the strategy include:

     Plans to quarantine ships and crew on return to Australia and for ongoing crew movements

    100% pre-boarding health screening and COVID-19 testing for all passengers and crew

    Boarding denied to anyone with exposure to COVID-19 or who has recently arrived in Australia

    Daily health monitoring and temperature checks on board

    Limited passenger numbers and capacity management controls that take into account the size, layout and design of each ship

    On-board venue restrictions to comply with social distancing (use of masks as required)

    Designated crew to serve in buffets (no self-service)

    Enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols that meet and exceed all national and state standards for equivalent venues ashore

    Staggered embarkation and disembarkation to reduce crowding

    Distancing and hygiene protocols within cruise terminals to match those on board

    Risk assessments for port visits and shoreside activities