Cruise holidays are back on as Canary Islands rule they can RESTART on November 5th!
The Canary government has given the go-ahead for cruise ships to restart between the ports of the islands from November 5th.
The first will be the Mein Schiff II, from TUI, based in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the Europa II, from Hapag Lloyd, based in Tenerife
The Ministries of public works, transport and
housing and the department of health have agreed on strict health rules,
which includes insurance, medical equipment on board, consultation with health
centres and hotels on each island in case of quarantine. Passengers will also
have to take coronavirus tests and stick to social distancing.
The decision, announced today, follows talks
which started in the summer when several shipping companies approached the
Government interested in activating the autumn-winter season of their cruises
between the Canarian ports only.
TUI Cruises and Hapag Lloyd Cruises are the
first to obtain authorisation after agreeing to the health rules established by
the regional authorities. The conditions include an insurance policy to
cover possible incidents related to COVID-19 among the passengers while they
operate in the Canary Islands. They have also been required to enter into agreements
with hospitals and hotels on each of the islands in case it is necessary to
activate a quarantine, in addition to a special hygiene plan for ships and the
hiring of health personnel.
The Canary government says it is vital for its
economy to restart cruises following a freeze of more than seven months due to
the coronavirus pandemic.
However, health officials have stressed
“permission will only be given to European companies since the health
protocols that the EU has established are among the most demanding in the
Brits will be welcome though all those who fly
in to the Canaries will, at the moment, still have to abide by the UK’s
quarantine rule on their return home.
Five European cruise tourism companies have
already shown interest in the Canarian winter circuit. In addition, cruise
companies will be required to ensure that their ships do not exceed 60 or 70%
of their capacity.
Before arriving in the Canary Islands,
passengers must take a diagnostic test (PCR or serological test) to show they
are negative for coronavirus. In addition, cruise passengers must fill out a
form that includes all their movements in the last 15 days before arriving in
the Canary Islands to monitor them in case of an incident and confirm if they
have had any contact with people positive for coronavirus or if they themselves
have tested positive in a recent diagnostic test.