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Enhanced sanitation measures including greater frequency

Rigorous Genting measures show what cruise lines may do in post-COVID-19 era

Infrared fever screening, doctor's certificate of fitness for those over 70, greatly enhanced cabin/public room sanitizing and twice-daily temperature checks for crew are among the actions Genting Cruise Lines plans before beginning service in the 'near future.'

These are intended to become the norm for all the Dream Cruises and Star Cruises ships.

Included are stringent health screening processes and protocols prior to embarkation and disembarkation, thorough sanitization and disinfection and enhanced hygiene practices for guest cabins, public areas and recreational activities, food and beverage safety and crew health. 

Capacity limits in public rooms/motor coaches, no more self-serve at buffets

The capacity of public rooms and tour motor coaches will be limited to provide space for social distancing. In entertainment venues and coaches, guest capacity will be limited to 50%. 

Crew wearing face masks and gloves will take over service in buffet-dining areas. 

Resuming cruises at mid-year? 

'As the situation improves in China now, we believe that operations may be able to resume in the middle of the year,' Genting said today, adding that would bring confidence in the global market.

'We have been preparing for the resumption of service, including carefully reviewing our prevention and response plan with the COVID-19 pandemic in mind to update and provide enhanced and comprehensive measures across our fleet,' the company continued. 'We have created a positive opportunity during this hiatus to also implement comprehensive crew training to reinforce effective cleaning procedures, health and hygiene protocols and efficient guest interaction, which we will adopt as the new cruising norm for our fleet and we hope for the industry, too.

'Once the ports open in China, we are ready to resume operations immediately.'

Should destinations such as Japan remain closed then, Genting urged the Chinese government to allow domestic cruises and cruises-to-nowhere.

Collaboration for an industry standard

The company is going to collaborate with the China Cruise & Yacht Industry Association on a white paper for the cruise industry’s COVID-19 prevention and response plan, providing a comprehensive and unified standard for the cruise industry to ensure the safety of passengers and crew. 

A further vote of confidence in Genting's initiatives was provided by the Asia Cruise Terminal Association, which endorsed the protocols and pledged to support them throughout its member ports across the region including in the Chinese mainland, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore.

The Genting measures span every aspect of cruise operations.

Embarkation/disembarkation

There will be mandatory temperature screening and pre-boarding health declarations for all travelers and an infrared fever screening system at the gangway. Sanitation and disinfection of the gangway and all passenger walkways will be increased.       

Those 70 and older will need to provide a doctor’s certificate of fitness for travel. Stringent checks for all embarking individuals will include crew travel documents.  

To minimize congestion in the cruise terminal, passengers will complete online check-in with a designated arrival time. There will be additional areas for cruise boarding and disembarkation, with staggered times.

Guest cabins

Accommodations will be cleaned with higher frequency and increased levels of sanitation and disinfection using hospital-grade disinfectants. This will include twice-daily wipe-down of cabins and corridors, and fogging of vacant cabins and corridors. Bathrooms will get treated with heavy-duty alkaline bathroom cleaner and disinfectant.

Food items will be removed in a timely manner to prevent spoilage and cultivation of microorganisms and bacteria.

Bedsheets and linens will be professionally cleaned and disinfected at high temperatures.

Diluted cleaning solution will be injected into drains to avoid clogged pipes and prevent bacterial growth.

In case of sickness, rooms will get thorough hospital-grade disinfectant and fogging.

Public areas

All public areas will undergo a two-tier sanitization process with thorough cleansing, fogging and wiping using hospital-grade disinfectant, with this frequency schedule: elevators (every two hours), public areas and facilities (two to 10 times daily), spa (at least twice daily).

The frequency of disinfection for other areas will be adjusted accordingly.

Common areas will be sanitized from once daily to two to four times daily and frequent touchpoints such as handrails, lift buttons, table-tops and door handles will be sterilized every hour or more often during peak hours such as embarkation/disembarkation, return from shore excursions and meal times.

A heavy-duty neutral PH floor-cleaning agent will be used frequently to disinfect all floors of the ship.

Hand sanitizers will be available in public areas, including all food and beverage areas and entertainment facility entrances, with crew members stationed at key venues to monitor.

Food hygiene practices/standards

All F&B areas including restaurants, bars and galleys will be cleaned and sanitized three times daily, during and after service.

Guest seating will ensure ample spacing. Disposable cutlery will be provided upon request.

Self-service at buffet restaurants will be suspended, with all food service crew wearing face masks and disposable gloves.

The use of wild animals and related products in food preparation is strictly prohibited. Stringent procurement guidelines will be enforced and product sourcing from highly affected regions will be strictly prohibited.

Entertainment/recreational activities

Theaters will be sanitized before and after each show and 3D glasses disinfected before and after use. Toys, games and Kids’ Club facilities will be cleaned twice daily and/or after every use.

Duty-free shops and entertainment venues will be disinfected twice daily before and after service. Recreational equipment will be disinfected every two hours before guest use.

Capacity will be limited to half the venue capacity to provide ample space between guests.

Spa and gym facilities will be sanitized prior to and after use.

Shore excursions

Tour coaches will be limited to half capacity and sanitized frequently; training for tour operators will be based on guidance from the World Health Organization.

HVAC

Genting said 100% external fresh air will be filtered and supplied to passenger cabins and public areas. Air filters and cooling coils will be thoroughly checked, cleaned and replaced to ensure healthy air quality.

Medical center

Isolated wards will be available. Contaminated items and medical waste will be properly sealed and disposed according to health and safety guidelines. Used face masks and protective equipment will be disposed at designated central collection points.

Medical equipment and waste bins will be cleaned, disinfected and washed twice daily with hospital grade disinfectant.

Medical center isolation staff dealing with suspected infectious cases will have to wear adequate personal protection including face mask, eye protection and disposable gloves and outer garment, along with proper hand-washing procedures. They will need to update their personal health information daily.

Crew practices and standards

Crew will undergo twice daily temperature checks. All frontline crew are required to wear face masks. Housekeeping and F&B crew are required to wear disposable gloves. Designated crew may also wear protective garments and eye protection if required.

All crew are to use anti-bacterial hand soap for at least 20 seconds to regularly sanitize hands. 

Workshops and crew training on pertinent health and safety measures will be provided.

Crew movements will be reduced.

With reporting by Katherine Si in Shanghai

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