CLIA-NWC (Cruise Lines International Association-North West and Canada), the cruise industry's representitive in Canada, announced it was surprised by the length of the extension of Canada Government’s ‘No-Sail Order’.
Charlie Ball (CLIA-NWC) said:
“While we understand and support the government’s focus on combatting COVID-19 in Canada, we are surprised by the length of the extension of the prohibition of cruise.
“We hope to have an opportunity to revisit this timeline and demonstrate our ability to address COVID-19 in a cruise setting with science-backed measures, as CLIA members are doing in Europe and parts of Asia where cruising has resumed on a limited basis.”
The pandemic is having a devastating impact on local businesses, and 2 years without cruising in Canada will have irreversible consequences for families. In 2019, the industry generated USD 4,25 billion in economic activity in Canada (33% increase over 2016), supported ~29,000 Canadian jobs paying USD 1,43 billion in wages which was a 26% increase in employment and 43% in wages over 2016.
CLIA member cruise companies agreed to adopt multiple layers of shipboard safety protocols, including but not limited to:
- 100% testing for passengers and crew members before embarkation
- Mandatory quarantine for the crew before interaction with passengers
- Pre-arranged response logistics involving transportation and medical facilities
- Expanded medical capabilities onboard
- Mask-wearing requirements
- Physical distancing measures
- Increased ventilation.
Cruising is resuming on a gradual basis in Europe. CLIA companies started modified itineraries from ports in Greece, Germany and Italy under the new strict protocols developed in collaboration with scientists, medical experts, health and government authorities. CLIA has been also guided by EU's Healthy Gateways and EMSA (European Maritime Safety Agency).
Since early-July 2020, there have been 200+ ship cruises in Europe (and parts of Asia) with approval from local authorities and enhanced measures.
The success of the initial voyages demonstrates the effectiveness of the multi-layered approach and confirms that the protocols are working as designed - to mitigate the risk in a cruise setting.