Healthy Sail Panel Sends CDC Recommendations to Restart Cruises

Representatives from the Healthy Sail Panel announced they had submitted recommendations on how the coronavirus can be mitigated in a cruise ship environment.

The panel of Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings officials, as well as medical and scientific experts, sent the recommended guidelines to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The 65-page report includes 74 detailed best practices to protect the public health and safety of guests, crew and the communities who depend on cruise ship arrivals. Some of the suggestions include mandatory testing, the use of facial coverings and enhanced sanitation procedures.

“The Healthy Sail Panel spent the last four months studying how to better protect the health and safety of guests and crew aboard cruise ships,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb said. “Taken as a comprehensive approach, we believe the panel’s robust public health recommendations will help inform strategies for a safe resumption of sailing.”

Norwegian and Royal Caribbean will use the panel’s recommendations to develop new, detailed operating protocols, which will be submitted to the CDC and other authorities around the globe for review and approval.

The Healthy Sail Panel identified five areas of focus every cruise operator should address to improve health and safety, including testing, screening and exposure reduction; sanitation and ventilation; response, contingency planning and execution; destination and excursion planning; and mitigating risks for crew members.

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