While the German state of Schleswig-Holstein has ordered TUI Cruises to halt cruise service from Kiel as of Nov. 5, the German cruise brand has a perfect safety record, having carried more than 40,000 passengers since July 24 and without a single corona incident, according to Dennis Tetzlaff, director of nautical fleet and health and one of three incident commanders for the cruise line.
“Since starting out of Hamburg and Kiel, we launched service from Greece in September and will begin in the Canary Islands in November,” he added.
The key elements of TUI’s health and safety protocols include testing and quarantine of all crew, testing of all passengers, reduced capacity and social distancing, Tetzlaff said.
A newly created position onboard is that of infection control officer whose responsibilities include cross-checking that all protocols are being implemented and that nothing and nobody slips through.
Passengers that sail from Germany have undergone a rapid antigen test at the terminal and completed a health questionnaire. If they came from a high incident area or country, they were not allowed to board the ship. Passengers have also been screened for their temperature before boarding.
Passengers sailing from Greece or the Canary Islands are required to take a PCR test in advance, which they can do free of charge at facilities of the hospital chain, Helios Clinic, which is working with TUI, or at their private doctor.
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