Home Cruise Safely Major Cruise Lines to Test All Crew and Passengers for COVID-19

DONALD WOOD  OCTOBER 07, 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus test tubes.
PHOTO: COVID-19 Coronavirus test tubes. (Photo via iStock/Getty Images Plus/solarseven)

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) revealed it would mandate pre-boarding COVID-19 tests for all passengers and crew members on ships carrying over 250 people.

As part of the CLIA’s mandatory health protocols for the controlled resumption of sailings, cruise lines have agreed to 100 percent testing of passengers and crew on all ships, with a negative test required for any embarkation.

CLIA officials claim the testing policy is a first for the travel industry, but did not reveal which types of tests would be administered or the timeline for testing before setting sail.

“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,” the CLIA said in a statement.

Last month, the CLIA revealed the core elements of health protocols that would make the resumption of voyages possible. Following the return of cruises in Europe, the next step would be resuming service in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America.

Highlights include testing for every passenger and crew member before departure; mandatory facial coverings; universal social distancing protocols; updated air management and ventilation strategies; risk-based response plans; advance arrangements for shoreside quarantine, medical facilities and transportation; strict rules for shore excursions; and more.

The CLIA Global Board unanimously voted to adopt all of the listed core elements for an initial restart of limited operations in the Americas and service related to U.S. ports. The protocols will be continuously evaluated and adjusted against the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic.