Health protocols mean we can sail onwards with confidence
By Joel Katz, Managing Director, CLIA Australasia
AROUND the world, cruise industry health protocols have shown to be effective in mitigating the risks of Covid-19 and have allowed cruise lines and health authorities to respond swiftly when cases arise.
This is now true in Australia as well, where detailed response plans and years of preparation mean we’re ready for the careful resumption of operations that is now underway.
And although cruising has again been the subject of sensational headlines in Australia, the simple fact remains – no setting is immune to Covid-19, but we have processes in place for dealing responsibly with the virus on our ships.
On land we are seeing many tens of thousands of cases each day in Australia, as we learn to live with Covid-19 as an endemic presence in our communities.
But at sea, we have measures in place that go well beyond those on shore, and which have been proven in other countries where they have been operating since late 2020.
Cruise industry testing and vaccination requirements – together with on board measures, enhanced medical facilities and detailed response plans – are still the most extensive to be found anywhere in tourism.
Importantly, they have been endorsed by health authorities and political leaders who have continued to show confidence in the protocols and their role in managing Covid-19 cases.
Even more encouraging has been the response from cruise passengers, who have repeatedly spoken out in support of cruise lines and their health measures when approached by media.
There’s no doubt cruise ships attract disproportionate attention when it comes to Covid-19, but the experience overseas shows confidence in cruising only continues to build as the resumption of operations progresses.
Millions of people have sailed successfully in more than 100 other countries where ships have resumed sailing, and with effective measures in place we can continue to work on a similar revival of cruising in Australia.