Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which represents 95% of global ocean-going cruise capacity, announced in a press release on September 21 the adoption of mandatory core elements of a strong set of health protocols to be implemented as part of a phased-in, highly controlled resumption of operations. A critical next step, now that initial sailing has begun effectively with strict protocols in Europe, is the resumption of operations in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America (the Americas), which encompass the largest cruise market in the world.
The Florida Ports Council supports CLIA’s plan to safely resume cruising from Florida’s ports. During the past six months, cruise port communities have been hit particularly hard by the economic impact of the cruise shutdown. Our estimates show 169,000 Florida jobs and almost $23 billion in economic activity will be lost because of COVID-19’s impact on cruising in our state in 2020 alone. To safely resume cruising, CLIA and its affiliates have agreed to a stringent plan that includes 100% testing of all passengers, mask-wearing onboard, social distancing, increased ventilation, dedicated medical teams and more. We will continue working diligently with our partners, along with state and federal authorities, to ensure a safe return to cruising.