While some countries have been participating in the trend of flying to nowhere, Singapore — that recently decided against it, in view of the environmental consequences of fantasy flights — has now come up with a new initiative of starting ‘cruises to nowhere’.
Amid the pandemic, while there are many restrictions on crossing international borders, for fear of contracting the infection from high-risk areas, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has begun to explore some new health and safety protocols that would allow for “cruises to nowhere”, according to the Singapore-based newspaper, The Straits Times.
It is being reported that STB has already hired a Norway-based risk management company DNV GL, to create a cruise compliance and certification scheme, to be “benchmarked against global health, safety, and hygiene standards”. This is being done so as to ensure cruise lines get to sail again.
Ever since the pandemic broke out, cruise ships have done little-to-no business, with some having to cut their trips short. As such, the ships have largely remained empty since March, either at the ports, or on sea.
According to the Insider, the cruise industry was shut down in March after many outbreaks on sea. One such outbreak was on the Diamond Princess off the coast of Yokohama in Japan in February, which led to staff members and passengers being stranded for weeks. Some deaths were reported, too.
The STB Regional Director of the Americas Rachel Loh, told The Washington Post that cruise lines would be required to pass an audit for certification to return to sailing — its details would be announced later. Ships will only be allowed to sail with 50 per cent of their usual accommodation for the first three months of operation.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines