Costa Cruises has introduced the Costa Safety Protocol, a new set of health and safety measures designed to support the cruise line’s return to operation after the Covid-19 pandemic.
The cruise line has worked with a panel of independent scientific experts to develop the protocol in line with global and national health guidelines. Crew will be screened for Covid-19 in their country of residence including two different swab tests for confirmation of suspected cases. They will then be tested a third time upon their arrival in Italy, with those confirmed negative to be allowed onboard for a 14-day period of quarantine. Crew will then continue to be monitored with daily temperature checks and swab tests every month.
Upgraded digital procedures, such as online check-in and self-certification, will be provided for guests, along with the possibility to book services onboard using the MyCosta app. Health screenings with temperature checks will be carried out at every access and exit to the ship, and they will be available through self-service electronic devices onboard the vessel. Social distancing will be observed in the cruise terminal, with similar measures for shore excursions.
The number of guests onboard will be reduced in order to guarantee appropriate distancing, and it will be mandatory to wear masks when indoors. Entertainment offerings have also been modified to allow for more shows with smaller groups of people, while self-service restaurants will not be operated.
More frequent cleaning will be carried out using specialist sanitation products, and additional disinfection dispensers will be placed at check-in and onboard. The onboard ventilation systems have been equipped with new filters to ensure high filtering efficiency of fresh air from outside the ship, rather than recirculating air from inside.
Processes have also been developed to facilitate the care, disembarkation and return home for any patients who are confirmed to have Covid-19. Specific training modules will be created concerning compliance with the new protocols and the implementation of the management system.
Following the development of the protocol, Costa has applied to receive RINA’s Biosafety Trust Certification. The scheme will conduct a series of audits both on the ships and onshore to confirm that the appropriate measures have been taken to manage health risks.