Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, many have wondered what would happen to international cruising. This was an especially pertinent question because the early days of the pandemic saw cruise ships play a central role in the spread of the disease. Now new guidelines from Health Gateways, an agency that is advising European officials on post-pandemic cruise protocols, is giving interested parties more information about what cruise passengers may expect on their next cruise.
CruiseRadio.net reports that Health Gateways' 49-page document includes such recommendations as requiring passengers to wear masks in public while aboard cruise vessels, and limiting pool occupancy to one person per 13 feet. Other recommendations include limiting the duration of voyages and also limiting the number of ports of call ships will visit during their voyages. The suggestions even go so far as to propose grouping passengers by age for onboard activities in order to separate older travelers from younger travelers.
Perhaps the most concerning recommendation, albeit necessary, is that ship authorities have plans in place to partially or fully evacuate the ships at a moment's notice and repatriate passengers and crew to their home countries as quickly as possible.
The article was careful to stress that the recommendations are not mandatory, but rather serve as guidance to policymakers who will ultimately have the final say.