Categories: Health

Japan to reopen to cruise ships after 2 1/2-year ban

TOKYO (AP) — Japan will elevate a greater than 2 1/2-year ban on worldwide cruise ships that was imposed following a lethal coronavirus outbreak on the cruise ship Diamond Princess at first of the pandemic, transport officers mentioned Tuesday.

The Transport Ministry mentioned cruise ship operators and port authorities’ associations have adopted anti-virus tips and that Japan is now able to resume its worldwide cruise operations whereas receiving international ships at its ports.

“Japan is now prepared to begin receiving worldwide cruise ships once more,” mentioned Transport and Tourism Minister Tetsuo Saito. “We are going to create an atmosphere that enables vacationers to get pleasure from their cruise with out fear whereas in Japan.”

Precise schedule for cruise ships has not been introduced. Among the many first is a Japanese ship departing from Yokohama in December for Mauritius and returning in January.

Japan has barred worldwide cruise ships since March 2020, after the outbreak on the Diamond Princess pressured 3,711 passengers and crew members to quarantine on board for 2 weeks, throughout which 13 folks died and greater than 700 others had been contaminated.

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Japan selected to isolate the crew and passengers whereas retaining them on board as a manner of border management, however was additionally criticized for turning the ship right into a virus incubator.

Cruise ship operators are anticipated to debate with native authorities additional particulars about their port entry plans. Japan’s resumption of worldwide cruise liners comes greater than a yr after they returned to america and Europe.

Below the brand new tips, all crew members should have three obtained three coronavirus vaccine photographs whereas most passengers should be vaccinated a minimum of twice. The rule of thumb additionally requires thorough air flow, distancing and disinfecting of frequent areas.

Japan, after a lot delay in comparison with many different international locations, reopened its borders to particular person international vacationers in October and a resumption of worldwide cruise ship operations will additional assist revive the nation’s tourism that has been badly hit by the pandemic.

Previous to the pandemic, greater than 2.15 million cruise ship passengers visited Japan in 2019, based on the Transport and Tourism Ministry.

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