What Could a Post-COVID-19 Cruise Look Like?
Cruise ships have been waylaid all over the world while the industry shuts down operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Carnival Cruises announced that they were selling off some of their older ships. Those ships are now being taken apart piece by piece in Turkey and sold for parts. So the cruise industry has a vested interest in getting back up and running again. But the question on everyone’s minds is: What provisions will the cruise lines put into place to protect passengers from this deadly virus?
The CDC’s “No Sail Order”
Cruise ships were one of the first vectors for a disease that spread all over the world. Lawsuits against Carnival and Royal Caribbean, however, have been less than successful. Many have been dismissed outright by judges while others operate under severe restrictions and are still making their way through the courts.
The CDC’s “No Sail” order made it illegal for any vessel carrying more than 250 passengers to cross into U.S. waters. This eliminated most of the major cruise ships. That order is set to elapse at the end of November. That means that cruises can begin again. But how will cruise ships protect passengers from exposure to the virus?
More Testing for all Crew and Passengers
CLIA, the international consortium of cruise line operators, said that testing will be a key component of protecting their passengers from exposure to the virus. All passengers will be tested prior to embarking. They will be tested again every time they come back on the vessel. CLIA also says that passengers who refuse or forgot to follow social distancing procedures can be excluded from the cruise and forced to fly home at their own expense and seek treatment in that way.
Of course, there’s a couple of issues with these ideas. Firstly, dumping COVID-positive patients in foreign countries is no way to make friends. Secondly, how long do the tests take to return results?
New Tests Produce Results in 15 to 30 Minutes
New COVID-19 tests are about to be rolled out that produce results in 15 to 30 minutes. These are known as “rapid antigen” tests. One of the major problems is that the two companies who manufacture these tests are interested in selling their product to poor and middle-income countries where laborers are dying in disproportionate numbers due to lack of testing. This means that if the cruise industry wants these tests, they’ll probably end up sponsoring the program that gets them to poor countries.
This might not be so bad. Not only will the cruise industry have access to the technology that will save millions of lives all over the world, but they can help ensure these lifesaving materials make it to the people who need it most.
Talk to a Miami Cruise Ship Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured aboard a cruise ship, call the Miami admiralty & maritime lawyer, Michael F. Guilford, today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.