CLIA Confirms Over 70s May Not Require Doctor Notes
The cruise industry’s governing body, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), has reassured cruisers over 70 years of age that they should not need to provide doctor’s notes in order to be able to cruise going forward.
While cruise operations are currently suspended across the world, the last update from CLIA before it was enforced saw them mandate that passengers aged over 70, or those with underlying health conditions, would required a signed not from a doctor confirming that they were fit to sail. The requirement, issued as an early response to the COVID-19 pandemic, would have seen those with immunodeficiency disorders such as cancer or diabetes, as well as those with heart, lung, liver and kidney diseases, unable to cruise.
“Additional measures for passengers over 70 had been developed and were adopted by some cruise lines, but were immediately superseded by the suspension of cruise operations in March. As there are no further embarkations during the suspension period, these requirements have been removed,” said CLIA in a statement.
“CLIA is now working with its members to review all Public Health Policy measures for CLIA ocean-going cruise lines, including the consideration of potential new protocols. Prior to resumption of passenger operations, CLIA will issue a revised set of protocols reflective of what the medical community has learned about COVID-19.”
Since CLIA’s clarification that no cruiser will be expected to obtain a note, cruise lines including Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises have confirmed that they will no longer require forms for passengers over 70. The situation remains ever-changing, however Royal Caribbean’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Trade Support & Service Vicki Freed, said:
“We found out that CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) did actually change this requirement on April 3rd. So a health form is no longer required for those travellers ages 70 plus, nor are there restrictions for those guests with underlying health conditions,” she said.
“In our current environment, everything can change at a moment’s notice, so this is very fluid. But as of today, there are no requirements for doctor’s notes.”
“We are working on our return to service protocols, and they may look very different in the next couple weeks or months. Until that’s finalised, we can’t say for sure this is never going to happen, but we will keep you informed.”
Cruise lines are yet to release details of health regulations expected to be put in place once sailings resume, with additional safety enhancements developed in conjunction with government health authorities and medical experts set to bolster existing hygiene measures to ensure the wellness of guests. More information is expected to be released over the coming weeks as lockdown measures begin to ease.