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L'Austral is one of the six Ponant ships scheduled to resume sailing in July. There will be enhanced health protocols fleet-wide

Ponant teams with noted Marseille institute on new health protocols

Ponant became the latest line to detail enhanced health protocols, working in collaboration with the prestigious Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire Méditerranée Infection of Marseille and the Battalion of Marine Firemen of Marseille.

Ponant has also applied for Bureau Veritas 'Safeguard' status to certify the efficacy of its procedures.

The new protocols are in addition to practices advised by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

Pre-boarding

Prior to embarkation, passengers and crew will have to present a medical form signed by a doctor, complete a health questionnaire and undergo a health screening by the ship’s medical staff.

All luggage will pass through a disinfecting zone with sanitizing mist or UV lamps.

Surgical and cloth masks, disinfecting wipes and bottles of hand sanitizer will be given to passengers.

Fresh air, reduced occupancy, masks

Ponant said it will provide 100% fresh air in staterooms through non-recirculating air conditioning. In common areas, the air will be renewed at least five times per hour.

Restaurant layouts have been redesigned to offer only a la carte dining.

Public areas like the fitness room and theater will be capped at 50% occupancy.

High-touch points, such as door handles and handrails, with be disinfected hourly with EcoLab peroxide, which eliminates 100% of germs and bacteria.

Crew will be required to wear a mask or protective visor when in contact with passengers. Passengers will be asked to wear a mask in corridors and a face covering will be recommended in public spaces.

Medical centers

Each vessel is equipped with advanced hospital equipment, including mobile laboratory terminals that enable testing on site for infectious and tropical diseases. Advanced diagnostic equipment such as ultrasound, radiology and blood analysis is available fleet-wide. One doctor and one nurse are present on every sailing.

Each ship will have five vacant staterooms should isolation be needed.

Shore excursions

Zodiacs will be disinfected after each stopover. Temperature checks and disinfection procedures will be mandatory prior to reboarding.

Ponant's complete 'COVID Safety Protocol' is available here.

As earlier reported, the line hopes to resume sailing in July with six vessels on five different French itineraries.

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