The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the main authority and voice of the global cruise community, releases the following statement regarding the exceptional action taken by the Greek Government to limit the spread and contagion by COVID-19.
The Council of Ministers, which met under the Prime Minister in an extraordinary meeting, agreed as an exceptional measure to restrict the spread and contagion by COVID-19, the temporary restriction on entry into Greek ports and disembarkation of passengers for cruise ships from any origin. The measure is in force from 15:00 hours on 15 March 2020 until 15:00 hours on 15 April 2020.
CLIA and its members are committed to the safety, health and wellbeing of passengers and crew, as well as the communities we visit. The cruise industry has continued to closely assess the situation since the beginning of this unique situation, and to develop new safety measures based on the prevailing guidance of international health authorities.
“Given the unprecedented nature of this situation, we recognize the decision by the Council of Ministers to temporarily restrict entry into Greece of cruise ships and disembarkation of passengers. The health and safety of people must be put first in all decisions”, says Maria Deligianni, Regional Representative in Eastern Mediterranean, CLIA Europe.
Cruise ships are impacted by the closures of ports and suspensions of sailings in various parts of the world. CLIA encourages ports to allow access and safe harbor for cruise ships as needed to support the completion of their journeys home and in anticipation of the return to normal operations when appropriate.
Cruise tourism is a strong sector in Greece as well as a key contributor to development, economic growth and employment generating nearly 600 million euros per year and creating nearly 12,000 jobs annually, and even a temporary restriction will have damaging impacts that extend beyond the cruise industry.
“We will continue working with the authorities and all industry stakeholders to prepare for the resumption of sailings when it is appropriate”, she added.
The cruise industry has been constantly expanding and innovating in recent years and has proven to have great resilience to the challenges it has faced in the past. CLIA will continue to closely monitor the development of events in coordination with cruise companies, international health professional organizations and regulatory bodies, to drive economic and social recovery as soon as possible.