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TTC Special: Cruise ships, Covid-19 cases on board

Photo: ©Erika Eros/123RF

By Frank Martin

The active cases of Covid-19 detected among the crew of the Odyssey of the Seas ship of the Royal Caribbean company are a warning to large cruise ships about the need to strengthen measures against possible infections and that these are respected.

The epidemic incident that occurred last week on the gigantic ship sparked speculation about the immediate future of the reopening of this tourism modality linked to the recovery of the international leisure industry this summer.

A few hours after confirming the existence of sick among the employees of the Odyssey of the Seas, the firm based in the United States affirmed that 1,400 members of the crew were vaccinated.

However, he admitted that the contagion happened in the middle of a two-dose application program.

“The period of complete immunization had not been fulfilled,” added a spokesman for the Royal.

The spread on the cruise ship occurred after 15 months of paralysis of this sector that caused a severe crisis,

The opening of the cruise season in July was already agreed, following the rules of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States.

One of the strict rules is to test the news health protocols with volunteer passengers.

Cruise ship health regulations are crucial to the new regulations that must govern international tourism after the destructive global pandemic.

Other modalities under surveillance are the health security measures in airlines and lodgings in the world and the limits of excessive tourism.

Before the coronavirus epidemic broke out, various concerns were already strong regarding the uncontrolled growth of the number of arrivals to highly visited cities and destinations.

Studies done immediately before the current global tourism halt indicated that

Global travel and tourism continue to grow at breakneck speed, growing faster than global GDP and contributing more than $ 8 trillion to the economy each year.

However, there are growing doubts about the capacity of cities and towns to cope with such growth.

The excessively high growth of tourism can cause tensions in the infrastructure of the localities that receive it.

Cities all over the world may not be able to withstand so-called excessive tourism.

For example, Amsterdam had 18 million 2019 visitors with a population of just one million people.

Over-tourism there has so far caused real estate prices to spike due in part to short-term rentals.

It has also caused overcrowding of the streets and even violations of drug laws.

Barcelona has also been in a struggle in recent years to manage the increasing number of tourists on its streets.

The city had more than 30 million visitors last year. In this way, the tourists who arrive put pressure on the 1.6 million inhabitants of the city and on city services of all kinds.

With the appearance on the scene of Covid-19, overcrowding in relatively small cities with visitors can be, in addition to being annoying in several ways, dangerous.

The fear of the outbreak of an epidemic suddenly is a fear that until recently was felt when a movie dealt with the subject.

In 2020 and 2021 the realism in this regard has been extreme and the effects on cities with large populations a serious warning.

FM

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