Repositioning cruise - Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas

In April, Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas, seen here cruising past the Sydney Opera House in Australia, is to depart Sydney for Hawaii.

A panel set up by Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd said on Monday it had submitted a report to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) detailing health and safety protocols, hoping to set sail again after a long halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The cruise operators detailed 74 steps, including enhanced sanitation practices, controlling shore excursions and better protection for crew members, to protect guests should they begin sailing again.

Recommendations also include rigorous screening and testing before boarding, plans to address positive infection on board, rapid evacuation and reducing transmission, the companies said.

In July, the two companies announced a joint task force to help develop safety standards for restarting their businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

"We studied the industry's experiences combating the pandemic – and we then incorporated the many lessons learned and advances made by medicine and science over the past six months," the task force's co-chair and Utah Governor Mike Leavitt said.

The cruise industry has taken a major hit from the pandemic, with some of the earliest large clusters of COVID-19 occurring aboard cruise ships.

The CDC first issued a no-sail order on March 14 for all cruise ships and has been extending it since.

Sunday, October 18, 2020