Today, October 6, 2020, CLIA announced an update to their mandatory health protocols. Last month the Cruise Line Industry Association (CLIA) gave us a glimpse of what the future of cruising might look like when the option to take a cruise returns.
Originally CLIA had suggested mandatory negative covid-19 tests for all guests and crew members prior to embarkation of sailings in U.S. ports / in the Americas. Today’s update to the mandatory health protocols changes that requirement from US based cruises to global embarkation.
Official Announcement from CLIA Regarding Mandatory Health Protocols: October 6, 2020
CLIA ocean cruise line members worldwide have agreed to conduct 100% testing of passengers and crew on all ships with a capacity to carry 250 or more persons—with a negative test required for any embarkation. This is a travel industry first and an example of the cruise industry leading the way. We see testing as an important initial step to a multi-layered approach that we believe validates the industry’s commitment to making health, safety, and the well-being of the passengers, the crew, and the communities we visit our top priority.Cruise Line Industry Association (CLIA)
Mandatory 100% testing with negative results is important and helps consumer confidence. Still, there is plenty of reason to wonder about the effectiveness of this policy. Between false positives and the incubation period of the Coronavirus, is a negative a few days before — or even the morning of embarkation — a guarantee that the test is accurate or the person won’t test positive during the cruise?
Personally, I’m in the group of people who are ready to get on a cruise ship and will do so as soon as cruises resume. Mandatory health protocols, systems and policies to ensure the safety of guests and crew, and my own cautiousness on board are enough to restore my confidence. Yet I’m not sure this announcement will lessen the odds of getting the virus in a meaningful way.