The Healthy Sail Panel submitted its recommendations on September 21, 2020 to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in response to a CDC request for public comment that will be used to inform future public health guidance and preventative measures relating to travel on cruise ships. The Healthy Sail Panel’s 65-plus-page report includes 74 detailed best practices to protect the public health and safety of guests, crew and the communities where cruise ships call. Recommendations include testing, the use of face coverings, and enhanced sanitation procedures on ships and in terminals.
The Panel’s work is open sourced for others to incorporate in their protocols as well; Governor Leavitt and Dr. Gottlieb expressed appreciation that authorities and other cruise companies had already engaged in the Panel’s work as observers.
The Healthy Sail Panel identified five areas of focus every cruise operator should address to improve health and safety for guests and crew, and reduce the risk of infection and spread of COVID-19 on cruise ships:
1. Testing, Screening and Exposure Reduction
2. Sanitation and Ventilation
3. Response, Contingency Planning and Execution
4. Destination and Excursion Planning
5. Mitigating Risks for Crew Memberr
In each category, the Healthy Sail Panel created practical and actionable recommendations to address specific safety concerns. Among the recommendations are key strategies such as:
• Taking aggressive measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 from entering a ship through robust education, screening and testing of both crew and guests prior to embarkation
• Reducing transmission via air management strategies and enhanced sanitation practices
• Implementing detailed plans to address positive infection on board, including contingencies for onboard treatment, isolation and rapid evacuation and repatriation
• Closely controlling shore excursions
• Enhanced protection for crew member
You can download and read the full report here: https://www.royalcaribbean.com/content/dam/royal/resources/pdf/healthy-sail-panel-full-recommendations.pdf