By Tony Winterburn • 10 July 2020 • 11:45
THE coronavirus pandemic has had dramatic effects on the cruise industry and after recent events its main customers, the elderly, may even shun it for good.
The cruise industry has rallied against the government’s ‘vague’ advice for tourists to steer clear of trips this summer because of coronavirus risks, after only warning over-70’s against setting sail, the Foreign Office last night changed tack and told all Britons to avoid cruises in a further blow to cash-starved holiday firms.
The effective blanket ban has dismayed thousands of would-be passengers aching for a post-lockdown holiday.
Social distancing measures requiring cruise ships to operate below full capacity would be an extra hindrance to an already financially shattered sector. Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean pointed to protocols they fear would further hit the industry’s bottom line following the shutdown of global operations since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The problem is that a large number of people in confined spaces on cruise ships make onboard tourists prone to infectious diseases such as the coronavirus. In 2019 alone, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 10 outbreaks on cruise ships.
The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has imposed deep restrictions too in US territorial waters, with ships with more than 250 passengers banned from sailing from the US until July 24. As arrivals into the UK from today no longer needing to quarantine it seems biased that the cruise industry is not receiving the green light to resume its operations, although a few have scheduled a small percentage of cruises.
Spanish Ports left empty
Spain might be welcoming back international tourists this month in an effort to jump-start the summer season, but the outlook does not appear very bright for cruise enthusiasts. The ban on cruise ships coming into port has been extended with no end date announced, the Spanish government said the restriction was to avoid any risk being posed to the national population.
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