The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide an important update on its guidance for the cruise lines designed to help with the repatriation efforts of crew members during the suspension of service. Coming more than ten weeks after cruise ships stopped sailing, it may be late but it is still expected to help the efforts to return idle crew to their homes.
Most of the information provided by the CDC in its June 1 update continued the earlier advice provided to the cruise lines. According to the CDC, the information is designed to help the cruise lines prevent, detect, and medically manage confirmed and suspected COVID-19 infections, as well as exposures among crew members during periods of suspended cruise ship operations.
The most significant change provided by the CDC is a new color-coded guidance system that established parameters and the level of restriction based on the ship’s current status. The CDC is also saying that it may publish the surveillance data from this system on its website to inform the public.
Individual cruise ships can now earn a “green” status if it has “no confirmed cases of COVID-19 or COVID-like illness for 28 days, as determined by a qualified medical professional.” The ship is also required to limit ship-to-ship transfers of crew to ships with similar status and to quarantine for 14 days any individuals coming aboard from shore to maintain the green status.
The CDC has loosened its restrictions so that crew can now be transferred on commercial transportation if the CDC confirms the ship’s green status, and the ship provides weekly reports to the CDC showing that it continues to not have cases of the virus. However, the cruise line’s executives must still complete a statement attesting to the status of the ship and the transportation arrangements, which has been a sticking point in the past.
Ships will have a “yellow” status from the CDC if it has a suspected case of COVID-19 while the testing is ongoing or if the ship fails to observe the restrictions about crew transfers from other ships or shore. A “red” status will be placed on any ship that has had a case of the virus with 28 days, fails to observe the rules about crew transfers, or does not meet the weekly reporting requirement.
As before, the CDC is requiring charter flights or private transportation for any crew members that the line wants to send home from the ship unless the ship maintains a green status. Again, the attestation is required from the cruise line executives.
The other elements of the guidance continue to focus on the monitoring of crew on board the ships, suggesting that the lines move everyone into single-occupancy cabins with private bathrooms, something most ships did shortly after they disembarked passengers, as well as taking other steps to create and maintain social distancing. The CDC also continues to recommend that crew should have twice-daily temperature checks, preferably self-performed with individual thermometers. Other sections of the guidance address managing cases, isolation, quarantine, and cleaning and disinfection.
While the updates to the policy from the CDC is seen as an important step that may ease some of the bottlenecks to complete crew reparations, the effort may have come too late to significantly change these efforts. Early in the suspension, many of the cruise lines began crew reparations and when the CDC restrictions impeded the efforts the lines sought other means to get crew home.
Cruise ships anchored in Manila Bay as part of the crew reparation efforts – courtesy of the Philippine Coast Guard
More than 20 cruise ships continue to be in Manila Bay working with the local authorities to complete quarantine and testing requirements as the final step to return the crew to their homes in the Philippines. Additional cruise ships are also sailing towards Asia after departing the waters around Florida and the Bahamas as well as Europe. The North American cruise lines transferred crew among their ships grouping them by nationality and dispatching ships to different destinations. Cruise ships have already arrived in Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Caribbean transporting crew to their homes.
While the CDC is now permitting the use of commercial flights, the lack of scheduled flights remains a challenge as well as the restrictions on international travel. It is impractical for the cruise lines to charter planes when they have small numbers of people heading to an individual destination in addition to a multitude of clearances required to conduct these flights.
The change in CDC policy, however, may be good news for the crew that has remained in limbo on the ships. It might be especially helpful with the small numbers of Americans and Canadian staff and crew that had been unable to disembark the ships anchored in the waters around Florida and California due to the CDC’s prior limitations.
The CDC continues to refer to this as interim guidance and it only addresses the crew aboard the ships during the suspension. The no sail order remains in effect, currently due to end on July 24, but the CDC admits it has yet to develop any guidance for the cruise lines to manage passengers and the virus while resuming cruises.
The complete CDC guidance for cruise ships can be found on its website.
In June, a UK Royal Navy destroyer and Dutch Royal Navy ship safely moored in Odessa, Ukraine, were spoofed to locations off-shore of a Russian naval base on Crimea. One week later, it was a US Navy ship moored in the same port that was spoofed (above). These are interesting cases in several ways. First, how […]
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
The First DP2, Twin-Hulled SOV in the World, NB72 Groene Wind met the Sea on September 29. 2020 in Yalova, Turkey. The Groene Wind will be directly chartered to Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for the maintenance of the Rentel and Mermaid & Seastar (known as SeaMade) offshore wind farms in Belgium. This is the first DP2, […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
The naval forces of the US and Bahrain recently staged a joint force training exercise which showcased the interoperability between coalition warships operating I the Arabian Gulf. Coalition Task Force Sentinel executed combined exercise Sentinel Shield supporting Sentry and Sentinel patrols in the coalition’s area of operations. The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones and […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]