Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line join forces to develop new health and safety standards

Cruise industry leaders Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. have set up a team of cross-disciplinary experts to guide the cruise industry’s way forward in response to COVID-19. 

Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. have brought top experts in public health, infectious disease, biosecurity, hospitality and maritime operations together to guide the cruise lines in the development of enhanced health and safety standards

They have asked Governor Mike Leavitt and Dr. Scott Gottlieb to serve as co-chairs of the newly formed group of experts called the “Healthy Sail Panel.” Governor Leavitt is the former Secretary of the U.S. Department Health and Human Services (HHS), and Dr. Scott Gottlieb is the former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The panel is tasked with collaboratively developing recommendations for cruise lines to advance their public health response to COVID-19, improve safety, and achieve readiness for the safe resumption of operations.

Richard D. Fain (Royal Caribbean) and Frank Del Rio (NCL) said they initiated the panel to assure the plans they will submit to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other regulators apply the best available public health, science and engineering insights. The work of the panel will be shared with the entire industry and regulators.

The expert panel has been working for nearly a month and will offer its initial recommendations by the end of August. The cruise lines say its work will be “open source,” and could be freely adopted by any company or industry that would benefit from the group’s scientific and medical insights.

Norwegian Cruise Line recently rolled out a new set of enhancements to their health and safety measures. The new measures include: enhanced health screenings for crew and passengers, increased sanitation, measures to guarantee social distancing and enhanced medical resources. Find out more about the new measures here.

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