•   
  •   
  •   

Health Cruise ships have always struggled with outbreaks. Will things change after COVID-19?

20:16  16 april  2020
20:16  16 april  2020 Source:   globalnews.ca

Everything You Need to Know About Cruising and the Coronavirus

  Everything You Need to Know About Cruising and the Coronavirus How the industry’s been impacted, and what measures cruise lines are taking to ensure your safety.As cruise lines—along with the greater travel industry at large—adapt to ensure the safety of passengers and crew, as well as to protect travel arrangements for customers wherever possible, we're tracking the latest news and updates. Here's what we know about the safety and security measures cruise lines are taking, where they’re altering itineraries, and how they’re working with their guests on upcoming travel plans.

Will things change after COVID - 19 ? By Meghan Collie Global News. Posted April 16, 2020 10:14 am. There have since been multiple outbreaks of COVID - 19 on cruise ships around the world — and yet, despite all of this, cruise bookings for 2021 appear to be on the rise.

"Lots of changes will occur before ships are permitted to resume service," The Cruise Guy's Stewart Chiron, an industry analyst who has been on 276 cruises , told CNBC. Strict medical protocols were implemented when a series of major cruise liners went into lockdown following outbreaks onboard.

a boat is docked in a harbor: The Grand Princess docks at the Port of Oakland in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, March 9, 2020. The Grand Princess docks at the Port of Oakland in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, March 9, 2020.

For the most up-to-date COVID-19 information from the Canadian government please visit Canada.ca/COVID19

When the new coronavirus began to spread in Canada in early March, the Public Health Agency of Canada recommended against "all cruise ship travel" due to the risk of contracting COVID-19.

"The virus can spread quickly on cruise ships due to the close contact between passengers," said chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam in a presser.

There have since been multiple outbreaks of COVID-19 on cruise ships around the world — and yet, despite all of this, cruise bookings for 2021 appear to be on the rise.

7 Things That Could Happen If You Sleep on an Old Mattress

  7 Things That Could Happen If You Sleep on an Old Mattress Dealing with poor sleep? It could be time to change your mattress. Here are a few things that could happen if you sleep on an old mattress. The post 7 Things That Could Happen If You Sleep on an Old Mattress appeared first on Best Health Magazine Canada.

The World’s Cruise Ships Can’t Sail. Now, What to Do With Them? Parking is just the first pain point. To keep things shipshape and avoid costly repairs (much like how your battery might die if you leave After as little as six months, ships may lose certain certifications that allow them to sail legally.

Cruise operators are required to carry out simulation cruises to test the new framework before Among the many things the pandemic revealed about the travel industry is that almost every sector Covid - 19 Vaccines ›. Words to Know About Vaccines. Confused by the all technical terms used to

The cruise booking site cruisecompete.com had a 40 per cent increase in bookings for 2021 compared to 2019, the company told the Los Angeles Times, and a recent poll conducted by cruisecritic.com found that 75 per cent of people plan to book cruises at the same rate as before once the coronavirus outbreak is over.

But after facilitating the rapid spread of the new coronavirus, can cruise ships still be considered safe?

"The short story here is that any place where you crowd lots of people together [is] prone to infectious diseases," said Dr. Michael Libman, tropical disease expert and professor of medicine at McGill University.

"The fact is that cruise ships are a little bit unique because you crowd a lot of people together in a fairly enclosed space, and it's not just for ... a few hours, it's for days."

'I Wasn't Scared': The First Person To Test The Coronavirus Vaccine

  'I Wasn't Scared': The First Person To Test The Coronavirus Vaccine Jennifer Haller, 43, from Seattle doesn’t have the virus, but she volunteered to take part in the trial in order to help fight the disease. Pictures: Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak around the world 1/131 SLIDES © Ciro De Luca/Reuters A soldier guides passengers arriving from Turin and Milan by train at the Naples Central station as they wait to get their self-certification documents checked, in Italy on March 22. 2/131 SLIDES © Eduardo Munoz/Reuters A man walks around a local park in Weehawken, New Jersey, U.S., on March 22.

Cruise lines will not be allowed to commence passenger operations until they meet all the requirements and are granted a conditional Covid - 19 sailing certificate issued by the C.D.C. Passengers who test positive for Covid - 19 before boarding a cruise ship will not be permitted to board.

Cruise Lines International Association represents the major cruise companies and its Australasia managing director, Joel Katz, said the industry was figuring out how to operate in a world with no COVID - 19 vaccine. "This virus really thrives in social situations

Cruise ships have a long history of infectious disease outbreaks.

In 2019, a cruise ship was quarantined in St. Lucia due to a confirmed case of measles. There have also been issues with respiratory infections like influenza and chickenpox as well as norovirus and E. coli.

According to the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2019 alone there were eight confirmed outbreaks of norovirus on seven different cruise ships.

READ MORE: Booked a cruise and want to cancel? Here's what you need to know

Dr. Rachael Lee, infectious disease physician and hospital epidemiologist at the University of Alabama, Birmingham Hospital, agrees with Libman.

"Viral infections can spread whenever large numbers of people are in close proximity for an extended time, especially in a closed environment," she said.

"We’ve seen viral outbreaks on cruise ships before for that reason."

What’s Happening to All Those Empty Cruise Ships?

  What’s Happening to All Those Empty Cruise Ships? With the industry suspended in response to coronavirus, here's the status of the ships.Carnival Corporation—parent company to lines like Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, and Princess Cruises—has offered up to 15 vessels in its 105-ship fleet as temporary hospitals, with each one able to accommodate as many as 1,000 makeshift hospital rooms. Governments and health authorities around the globe are considering the proposal; while the ships would not be used to care for COVID-19 patients directly, they would free up beds and alleviate pressure at land-based hospitals by taking on less-critical patients.

Cruise ship operators must continue to follow the COVID - 19 response plans they developed under CDC’s No Sail Order and the COVID - 19 Color Given the continued spread of COVID - 19 worldwide and increased risk of COVID - 19 on cruise ships , a careful approach is needed to resume passenger

On Wednesday, Princess cruise line sent a notice to passengers and crew aboard the Grand Princess which was on its way back to San Francisco, informing them that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was investigating a cluster of Covid - 19 cases in Northern California connected to the

However, Libman says these problems have been addressed by most large cruise lines.

"I think the industry learned from it and put into place extra sanitary, hygienic measures to try and stop that kind of thing," he said. "You certainly don't hear about it as much anymore."

Another factor that could play a part is the sheer amount of travel that happens during any one cruise.

READ MORE: Cancelling or rebooking your vacation? Current policies of major airlines and hotels

"People get off the boat, they mix with people in one place, then they get back on the boat and go mix with people in another place," Libman said.

"That's how things move. There's no doubt about that."

Libman, who is also the co-principal investigator of GeoSentinel, a global network for the surveillance of travel-related morbidity, believes something unique occurred when the new coronavirus landed on cruise ships.

In his work, he attempts to track infectious diseases as they spread  — something that has been relatively difficult with COVID-19.

"The fact is that something happened on board several cruise ships," Libman said. "The Diamond Princess [ship] saw some 700 people get infected, despite the boat being docked and some kind of quarantine measures going on.

Foods That Weaken Your Immune System

  Foods That Weaken Your Immune System Want to feel better faster? The first step you need to take is avoiding these foods.

"We don't completely understand what went on. I think time will tell."

Social factors

Cruise lines suffer from a "systemic issue" of inequality, according to Mathieu Poirier, a social epidemiologist and professor at York University.

"I think a lot of people overlook that [cruise ships] essentially employ people at a very low cost," Poirier said.

"These cleaners [and food preparers] are often making well under $5 an hour, and these are the people we are relying on to clean surfaces, prepare food safely, report these diseases once they happen and deal with them."

READ MORE: Having weird dreams during the coronavirus outbreak? You're not alone

In Poirier's view, until cruise employees are paid more, hygiene will continue to be a concern.

"The people that we're relying on to make these cruises safe ... aren't getting paid enough to do the work that needs to be done in a meaningful way," he said.

"Until that gets taken care of, I think we're going to see a continuation of what we've seen in the last few decades: a lot of these infectious diseases spreading and them not being controlled quickly or effective enough," Poirier said.

Responsible travel

Given the concerns about the spread of infectious diseases on cruise ships, some experts worry travellers will be too eager to go aboard once the immediate threat of COVID-19 has passed.

Why the coronavirus has been so successful

  Why the coronavirus has been so successful We’ve known about SARS-CoV-2 for only three months, but scientists can make some educated guesses about where it came from and why it’s behaving in such an extreme way.

"I don't criticize the people who have rebooked ... but I would worry about [the safety of] cruises in the next 18 months or so," said Kerry Bowman, bioethicist and professor in the faculty of medicine at the University of Toronto.

"The problem would be you could be creating risk not just for yourself but other people."

Bowman recognizes that cruises are a relatively accessible way to see the world, especially for older people, but he anticipates that they will carry a lot of risk in a post-pandemic world.

"It's a similar issue to that of long-term care," he said. "There are big similarities between the two — communal dining, enclosed spaces."

The fate of cruises

When public health officials first issued warnings about avoiding cruise ship travel in early March, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said the measures were "unwarranted."

In a statement on March 7, the CLIA said it has already taken proactive measures to protect against the spread of the new coronavirus, including stringent pre-boarding screening procedures.

“With the proactive measures put in place by the cruise industry based on prevailing guidance from global health authorities, arbitrary restrictions are unwarranted and could have long-term detrimental effects on the Canadian people and economy,” the statement read.

However, despite changing protocol on cruise ships, experts aren't convinced the industry will bounce back right away.

Libman hopes that once a COVID-19 vaccine is created, the new coronavirus will just become like another influenza — but until that happens, "it's easily imaginable that people are going to be terrified of any kind of crowd."

I’m a Cruise Ship Entertainer, And I Have No Idea When I’ll Get Back to Sea After Coronavirus

  I’m a Cruise Ship Entertainer, And I Have No Idea When I’ll Get Back to Sea After Coronavirus “There's no work anywhere for us right now. It's not like I can go audition for that Disney gig or some Broadway show; everything is shut down.”I was on a ship when President Trump declared a national emergency; all of the cruise lines announced their suspensions at the same time. I kind of knew it was coming, but I was shocked by how quickly everything escalated. Having a lot of friends in the industry, you hear rumors. I was on a ship in Australia in January and already the coronavirus was a threat. People leaving the ships there were having to reroute their flights to avoid Hong Kong.

Bowman agrees:  "How comfortable are you going to be on a plane with 300 people for nine hours?" he said. "I think the whole travel front is going to be reconfigured."

READ MORE: Patients 'losing precious time' as fertility treatments paused due to coronavirus

For now, Libman says more research is needed before cruises can be considered completely safe again.

"The transmission dynamics [of COVID-19 on cruise ships] aren't completely understood at the moment," Libman said.

"I imagine as we learn more about it, we'll be able to put in measures to try and prevent this kind of thing in the future because clearly, coronavirus is not going away anytime soon."

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

Meghan.Collie@globalnews.ca

12 Amazing Cruises You Can Book Now for 2021 .
Are you thinking about a romantic couple's trip or a family vacation to make up for lost travel time in 2020? Here are the best cruises to book for 2021. It may be time to move from daydreaming about your next cruise vacation to serious planning and checking the calendar and budget.

usr: 0
This is interesting!