The Port of Cork has confirmed that Cork will still welcome cruise lines and their passengers into Cork, despite concerns expressed by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which highlight the risk of infection to cruise ship passengers and crew during the novel coronavirus outbreak.
A spokesperson for the Port said that there are ‘currently no cancellations to cruise calls’.
Two cruise ships are due into Cork this month, the ‘Saga Sapphire’ on Friday morning and the ‘Marco Pollo’ on Monday, March 23. These vessels will be carrying approximately 752 passengers and 922 passengers, respectively.
In a statement, the Port of Cork has moved to allay fears that travelling via cruise ship poses an increased likelihood of spreading Covid-19.
“The Port of Cork is following all necessary guidelines from the HSE," the Port statement said. "Cruise ship tourism offer no higher risks compared to tourists visiting Cork via airports or public transport.”
The Port staff are continuing to liaise with the HSE and said they will ensure that all vessels / agents must complete the Maritime Declaration of Health (MDoH) to SafeSeas Ireland (SSI).
The Port is also implementing a number of additional measures for public safety.
Most notably, passenger details of those joining in Cobh/Cork must be notified to Port Health and the Port Authority prior to arrival, by the cruise line.
Vessels should also have “adequate supply of hand sanitation” and display “the appropriate information relating to Covid-19 in public areas”.
Any large groups of shore visitors going onboard will also be prohibited and passengers will be asked not to linger in large groups once they have disembarked from the ship.
The Port have stated that they will comply will guidelines set out by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and will “deny boarding to all persons who have travelled from, visited or transited via airports in South Korea, Iran, China, including Hong Kong and Macau, and any municipality in Italy subject to lockdown”.
Passengers who have had any contact with someone who has tested positive for Covi-19 within 14 days prior to embarkation will be denied boarding.