The UK cruise sector is working closely with the government, public health bodies and maritime authorities on restart protocols that will go “way beyond” other sectors, according to Clia.

Andy Harmer, director of Clia UK & Ireland, said a focus on the resumption of air travel and safety measures at airports was being mirrored by cruise lines and ports.

In a column on Travel Weekly’s website, he said: “A lot of work is going on in the background to transform the experience of taking a cruise. The industry is working in collaboration with the government on a ‘door to door’ strategy – from the time of booking through to the passengers’ return home – that will go way beyond protocols in place or proposed for any other travel sector.”

He added: “Clia has been working closely with the Department for Transport, Port Health, Public Health England and the Maritime & Coastguard Agency to develop the roadmap to resumption – what will happen from time of booking to embarkation at the port, onboard, ports of call, disembarkation and customer follow-up.

“We are also engaged with public health professionals as we review the customer journey, from minimising the likelihood of onboard cases by screening of each guest before departure, through comprehensive onboard management and repatriation plans should cases occur on board.”

Harmer welcomed comments made recently by the prime minister that cruise was a “great British industry” which would be supported by the government “in any way that we can”.

And he said plans for a pan-European framework should pave the way for the sector’s restart, adding: “We expect interim guidance from [joint action scheme] EU Healthy Gateways to be published this week, supporting the resumption of cruise activity in a coordinated way.”

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