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Cruise line industry offers dozens of recommendations to prevent COVID-19, stop its spread on ships

Cruise line industry offers dozens of recommendations to prevent COVID-19, stop its spread on ships
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The cruise line industry, which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, submitted a report to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday with dozens of recommendations on how to prevent or mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on ships.

Royal Caribbean and Norwegian’s Healthy Sail Panel submitted the 66-page report in response to a CDC request for public comment following the implementation of its “no-sail” order, USA Today reported.

The report lists 74 recommendations for containing COVID-19, including testing five to 24 hours before boarding a cruise for passengers and crew members, daily temperature checks, and requiring passengers and crew members to wear cloth face coverings in accordance with CDC recommendations.

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Lower passenger and crew loads, shorter sailing schedules and contact-free check-in are also recommended, along with increased sanitation. Also, new hygiene protocols such as hand sanitizer stations, wipes or hand-washing stations conveniently placed around the ship and insurance that crew members are trained on all aspects of infection control with emphasis on proper hand hygiene techniques are endorsed. 

The CDC's order expires Sept. 30 but The Cruise Lines International Association, an industry group, issued a voluntary suspension through October, USA Today noted.

Cruise companies launched the Healthy Sail Panel in July to find solutions to keep ship passengers and crews safe during the coronavirus pandemic, the newspaper reported at the time. It is made up of public health, infectious disease, biosecurity, hospitality and maritime operations experts.