BARCELONA – Cruise ships are welcome to anchor in Catalonia again at the end of June. Procicat, the Catalan body that manages public health matters, gives the go-ahead.
The decision was repeatedly delayed until the International Cruise Lines Association (CLIA) warned Spain would no longer be the preferred destination for shipping companies. The logical consequence being they would rather choose Italy and the eastern part of the Mediterranean. The institution had to change its mind quickly.
Conditions for cruise ships
Procicat is imposing conditions on the return of the cruise ships to Catalonia. Routes must be domestic, so only between Catalan ports, and shipping companies must send a detailed document of their health protocols to the regional Ministry of Health stating the following:
-Details about the ability to perform diagnostic tests in ships. Where and how positive cases of Covid-19 and their direct contacts will be isolated.
-Health centres should be arranged to handle positive cases after disembarkation.
-A housing plan for patients who are asymptomatic or who do not require hospitalisation.
-An overview of the activities of the cruise: routes and dates on which the ship calls at ports.
-Passenger activity data: excursions, excursion protocols, etc.
-Cleaning, hygiene and ventilation processes within the ships as well as information elements for passengers must be provided.
-Maximum capacity and capacity of the boat, both in common areas and in cabins, must be communicated. This includes passengers and crew.
Shipping companies must send the document 20 days before the start of the cruise and the Generalitat Ministry of Health has five days to respond.
However, the port of Barcelona has received the news positively. Barcelona received 3 million cruise passengers per year in the year before the pandemic. This is very good for the regional economy, both for the port facilities and for the rest of the tourism industry that depends (partly) on cruise passengers.
Malaga port already stated it would receive cruise ships from June.