A CORK TD has called for cruise ship passengers not to be allowed to disembark in Ireland.
Sinn Féin’s Thomas Gould has said that commercial cruise liners should be engaging with environmental health officers immediately, in an effort to combat the spread of Covid-19.
It comes as another cruise liner is due to dock in Cork on Monday. This follows guidelines issued for cruise liners entering Cork Harbour in recent days, which will see tourism information emailed to the vessels instead of local tourism ambassadors boarding the ships, while bus tour operators must ensure their buses are sanitized prior to passengers boarding for day trips.
Deputy Thomas Gould said that a cruise ship docking in Cork under these circumstances would add to the already anxious feelings in the general community in Cork.
“Given the current public health emergency, it is not acceptable for cruise ships to dock and allow thousands of passengers to disembark and traverse around Cork. They must engage with environmental health officials immediately,” the Cork North Central TD said.
“Allowing passengers to disembark in Ireland would completely contradict the strong social distancing advice given to the public in recent days. Cruise holidays are non-essential travel and allowing passengers to come ashore would cause considerable disquiet,” he added.
Deputy Gould went on to say that the state must protect people against any potential public health threat, while calling on commercial cruise line companies to return their passengers to their final destination port and “ensure their onward journey home.” “Of course, if there are any passengers on board who are extremely sick they should be met by emergency teams and transported to hospital as soon as possible. We clearly have a duty of care in that regard,” he said.
“However, I am now calling on the National Emergency Team and the government to urgently engage with the cruise ships companies to inform them that disembarking will not be allowed in Ireland as we continue to battle the spread of Coronavirus on our island,” Deputy Gould concluded.