The coronavirus pandemic has hit the cruise industry hard, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging Britons to avoid cruises, meanwhile, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has implemented a “no-sail ban” for at least “100 days” from US ports. However, in a bid to revive their popular schedules, some cruise lines are implementing new measures to ensure the safety of passengers and crew on board.
Some changes being considered include reducing the onboard capacity, removing self-service buffets and implementing one-way systems for guests and crew.
P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said he hopes the new safety methods will work with Public Health England guidance “without compromising enjoyment and experience” for passengers.
“These new stringent measures which may, no doubt, encompass rigorous pre-embarkation screening, changes to the onboard experience for guests and also working with our shore experience operators and ports of call, will be in place as soon as we reintroduce our ships,” he said.
“We will then get used to them in the same way as we got used to airline hand luggage restrictions.
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“They will become the new normal and they will give us reassurance and peace of mind.”
In a statement last week P&O announced it would not be continuing sailing until August 2020 at the earliest.
It stated: “With the current lockdown in place and government guidelines around the world advising against travel it has been necessary to extend the pause in our operations.
“Our ambition is to give our guests amazing holidays as soon as global guidelines will allow and we are working through the evolving advice, as well as restrictions in ports of call around the world, as we consider how we phase our ships back into service.
“We want to return to sailing as soon as we possibly can but it is clear that in light of the ongoing government and global guidelines and worldwide restrictions, it is not viable for us to resume operations at the moment.
“We are so sorry not to be able to give our guests their summer holiday but the global situation and continued lockdown make it impossible to reintroduce sailings for the next few months.
“We are working hard, given what we know currently, on a plan for future itineraries – pending a little more clarity on the longer-term impact of COVID-19 and timing on the world’s return to normality.”