JOEL Katz, Managing Director CLIA Australasia
Success overseas helps Australia
The number of passengers who have sailed in other countries since cruising resumed last year has now passed four million, providing strong evidence that our industry’s Covid-19 measures are working.
Detailed health protocols and stringent testing and vaccination requirements have allowed cruising to resume in more than 50 countries around the world, including key regions in the Mediterranean, northern Europe, the United States and the Caribbean.
Around three quarters of ships in the CLIA member fleet will have returned to service by the end of 2021, with more ships due to come online early 2022.
This is an excellent achievement so far, and the key to this success has been close partnerships established between cruise lines, governments, health authorities and other stakeholders.
The extensive protocols implemented through these partnerships have been shown to be successful in mitigating the risks of Covid-19, while also maintaining health and safety as the industry’s highest priority.
This will be essential as we work towards resumption in Australia, ensuring that we implement measures that not only work to prevent Covid-19 from boarding our ships, but also maintain precautions on board and provide clear response plans to isolate and effectively manage any cases that might appear.
With Australia’s vaccination rates inching higher and a strong track record from our industry’s efforts overseas, we’re confident this can be achieved in a way that prepares us for a careful revival in local waters.
Once the Federal Government lifts its cruise ban, it will still take several months before health protocols can be implemented in collaboration with state governments and ships can be returned from overseas.
But after months of persistent lobbying efforts and ongoing discussions with governments around Australia, we now appear to have a light at the end the tunnel.