CLIA view: Now is the time for a path forward

By Joel Katz, Managing Director CLIA Australasia

Now is the time for a path forward

In recent days CLIA has launched a major new campaign in the United States, urging the Biden administration to replace current cruise restrictions with a workable pathway towards resumption.

Echoing the messaging of CLIA in Australasia, the Ready Set Sail campaign calls on America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to lift its Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) and allow for the planning of a phased resumption of cruise operations from US ports.

The time has come to move forward, not just in the US but also here Australia and New Zealand.

Cruise lines have achieved an enormous amount in the past year and the health measures they have developed in response to COVID-19 are among the most comprehensive of any industry in the world.

With these extensive new health protocols in place — and given low levels of COVID-19 in Australia and New Zealand — our governments need to make headway towards a carefully controlled and phased reintroduction of domestic cruising in this region.

This would initially involve restricted cruises within Australia and New Zealand for local residents only. Within these bubbles, no passengers or crew would be able to board without a negative COVID-19 test, and no passengers would be able to visit any destination they wouldn’t otherwise be able to visit by land.

Such domestic models have been operating successfully in other countries including Taiwan and Singapore since the latter part of last year.

With our industry’s extensive health measures now in place, governments in Australia and New Zealand need to commit to a pathway forward so our industry can plan for its revival.

CLIA continues to lobby hard, but we need your support. Please visit www.WeAreCruise.org for information and resources to help raise our voice and ensure political leaders understand the size and importance of our cruise community.

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