The guidance aims to provide a safe framework for the re-start of operations of cruise ships in the EU, by recommending minimum measures expected to be implemented by all those concerned, while maintaining general safety and security standards.

EMSA highlights that the paper is meant for EU/EEA flagged ships engaged in international voyages and for ships calling at an EU/EEA port irrespective of flag.

This Guidance is consisted of three parts and follows a goal-based approach, suggesting for each part the topics to be addressed by the parties involved.

Firstly, it addresses the ship side and provides recommendations on the development of a COVID-19 Company and Ship Management Plan, following a tailor-made risk assessment by the company. Such a plan should propose mitigation measures for implementation, together with the possibility of third-party verification.

Secondly, the guidance recommends the development of a COVID-19 Port Management Plan by each Member State/port/terminal receiving cruise ships, for which a minimum set of measures are also suggested.

Thirdly, it puts forward the recommended elements on which the company and the port/terminal receiving the ship should agree, with the purpose of having an agreement in place based on those elements before any voyage takes place. It is also expected that procedures and a cooperative framework are established at the same time in case a COVID-19 outbreak occurs on board.

Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary General of ESPO commented that

European ports are committed to contribute to a safe, sustainable and resilient recovery in the aftermath of COVID-19. The safe and sustainable restoration of cruise business is for some ports an essential part of this.

Concluding, to learn more about the Guidance click herebelow

COVID-19 EU Guidance for Cruise ship operations