Hong Kong eases some cruise COVID rules but maybe not enough to draw ships

CRUISE_Spectrum_of_the_Seas_Hong_Kong.jpg
Spectrum of the Seas left Hong Kong early this year when strict measures to stem the Omicron variant were imposed and cruises were halted
The Hong Kong Health Bureau announced a minor relaxation of rules pertaining to cruise ships.

The bureau abolished a ‘suspension mechanism’ whereby a cruise ship might be halted for several weeks if a positive case were found onboard. 

Only cruises to nowhere, 75% capacity limit, vax and testing requred

However, still only cruises to nowhere are allowed, there is a 75% capacity limit, full vaccination is mandatory and there are also testing requirements that haven't been specified yet.

Changes welcomed, but ...

'It’s a welcome improvement, but my guess is that the new policy is still too far from the current international norms to attract ships to return for the local source market,' Jeff Bent, managing director, Worldwide Cruise Terminals, which operates the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, told Seatrade Cruise News.

'We hope that the authorities will quickly relax rules for visitors coming to Hong Kong by ship, to allow the internationally-sourced lines scheduled to visit next spring to resume calling without unreasonable restrictions.'

No cruises since early January

Cruises to nowhere carrying only local residents had operated for half a year, from July 30, 2021, to Jan. 5 this year, before being halted as part of strict measures to stem the Omicron variant. 

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