Cruise may resume end-July

May 26, 2021

(To watch the full press briefing with sign language interpretation, click here.)


Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau announced today that cruise lines are expected to resume the "cruise-to-nowhere" for Hong Kong residents, which does not involve ports outside Hong Kong, at the end of July at the earliest.


At a press briefing today, Mr Yau said the cruise lines have to strictly comply with a set of health precautionary measures specifically designed for cruise travel.


“We have imposed certain requirements or conditions on companies running (these cruises), on crew members serving the cruises, as well as customers.


“All these requirements are premised on (the need for) a safe and secure environment, including vaccination for all, repeated (COVID-19) tests, strictly adhering to all quarantine requirements imposed on whoever coming from wherever based on the existing arrangement.”


All crew members must be fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines recognised by health authorities before starting a cruise journey, except for those not suitable to do so with valid medical proof.


Non-local crew members who have not been vaccinated prior to entry into Hong Kong may receive vaccinations for free in Hong Kong.


All fully vaccinated crew members are still required to undergo a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) nucleic acid test shoreside and obtain a negative result every 14 days.


Crew members who are not suitable for vaccination due to medical grounds must undergo every seven days a COVID-19 PCR nucleic acid test shoreside and obtain a negative result, as well as undergo every three days testing at on-board facilities and obtain a negative result.


All passengers must be fully vaccinated, except for those not suitable to do so with medical proof or aged below 16, before starting a cruise journey.


Passengers also have to undergo a COVID-19 PCR nucleic acid test within 48 hours prior to boarding and obtain a negative result.


Mr Yau added: “On top of that, I understand that all the cruise lines that are interested (in the resumption) and asking the Government to allow them to provide their services are all willing to go the extra mile, for instance, refining ventilation systems to ensure that there will be sufficient clean air in rooms.


“They are only allowed to operate below 50% of (the passenger) capacity. They are also introducing a lot of devices (so that) they can do tracking and tracing and ensure social distancing.


“Some of these arrangements have already been in place in some of the newer cruise ships but now I think they are essential tools for (companies) to enforce social distancing on board.  


“Should there be any suspected cases, to start with, on board the ships joining the scheme, I understand that they all have medical professionals on board. They are also equipped with PCR testing equipment so that (the companies) can identify any suspected cases. Once a case is identified, then the requirement is for (the ship concerned) to come back immediately.”

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