The Healthy Sail Panel which is a joint expert panel from Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line has submitted its recommendations to the CDC which will hopefully get cruises going again.
Now It’s Up to the CDC!
The Healthy Sail Panel which is an expert panel formed by Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line has completed its new health recommendations and submitted them to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The group has been working since it was first formed in June 2020 to put together new industry standards for the safe and healthy return of cruise operations.
The panel of experts is chaired by Governor Mike Leavitt and Dr. Scott Gottlieb who was the Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. There are also another nine members who have been working on the new measures over four months.
Dr. Gottlieb, said:
“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.”
“Taken as a comprehensive approach, we believe the Panel’s robust public health recommendations will help inform strategies for a safe resumption of sailing.”
The new recommendations focus on five areas to make sure guests and crew members can remain safe during the entire cruise vacation. The new suggestions have been fully researched and is one of the best hopes that cruses from the United Stated can resume soon.
The Healthy Sail Panel’s 65-plus-page report includes 74 detailed best practices to protect the public health and safety of guests, crew and the communities where cruise ships call. Recommendations include testing, the use of face coverings, and enhanced sanitation procedures on ships and in terminals.
Gov. Leavitt said:
“This Panel undertook an ambitious, cross-disciplinary, public health examination to develop standards and guidelines that create the highest level of safety in the complex environment of a cruise ship. We studied the industry’s experiences combating the pandemic – and we then incorporated the many lessons learned and advances made by medicine and science over the past six months. The Panel’s recommendations are grounded in the best scientific and medical information available and are intended to meaningfully mitigate public health risks to those who sail.”
The report is not just being summited to the CDC but relevant authorities around the world and it is an open-source for other cruise lines to use and implement. In each of the five areas that were focused on the Healthy Sail Panel looked at actionable suggestions to highlight specific concerns such as:
- Taking aggressive measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 from entering a ship through robust education, screening and testing of both crew and guests prior to embarkation
- Reducing transmission via air management strategies and enhanced sanitation practices
- Implementing detailed plans to address positive infection on board, including contingencies for onboard treatment, isolation and rapid evacuation and repatriation
- Closely controlling shore excursions
- Enhanced protection for crew members
Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, said:
“The Healthy Sail Panel’s recommendations are robust and comprehensive, and they reflect the intense focus the panelists brought to their work.”
“We know that both authorities around the globe and consumers expect cruise lines to provide the safest, healthiest vacations we can, and this work demonstrates our commitment to doing just that.”
This comes as the CDC is closing the public comments on returning cruise operations on Monday night. They will then review the 10,000 plus comments to help them make an important decision on allowing operations to resume along with the recommendations from the Sail Healthy Panel.
It’s an important week for the cruise industry as the CDC No Sail Order is coming to an end at the end of the month. Cruise Lines will likely make their decisions on extending their suspensions by the end of this week.