Catalan’s health authority, Procicat, must first approve the Sector Plan for cruise activities in the ports of Catalonia, which outlines health protocols that cruise vessels calling there must adhere to.
Rigorous health measures
Mercé Conesa, chairman, Port of Barcelona, said a return to sailing will occur ‘under totally safe conditions,’ adding, ‘We have been working for many months with cruise lines to be able to offer local citizens a return to cruising… complying with strict health procedures designed by international professional specialists.
‘These protocols are not only focused on passengers and crew, but also effectively protect citizens at destination ports.’
Only cabotage cruises calling at Spanish ports will be permissible, with Spanish health authorities yet to approve international cruises.
Supporting the local economy
Commenting on the local economic situation, Conesa added, ‘I would like to point out that the current economic situation of many families in our country is really delicate, and that the progressive reactivation of various economic sectors – to the extent that the gravity of the pandemic has decreased – is not only necessary, but is key to the recovery of lost jobs.’
The cruise sector provides direct employment to 9,000 persons in Barcelona; its contribution to Catalan's GDP is €562m.