Uruguay has received over 200 requests for cruise vessels to call in Montevideo and Punta del Este for the coming 2021/22 season, (October/March), according to reports in the local media. Of the 200, 140 requests are for Montevideo and 60 for the international seaside resort of Punta del Este.
Reports indicate that the Uruguayan ministry of Tourism has started to work on the protocols visitors will have to comply with before any visitor is allowed to disembark.
Deputy minister Remo Monzeglio said that obviously we are working on hypothetical situations, and cruise lines will have to comply with very strict health protocols and handling of passengers on board, and of which Uruguay will demand certain guarantees.
The official mentioned among the demands, vaccination certificates, a PCR, 72 hours before landing, most probably in the vessels, and if not a test to ensure the responsible pass
Monzeglio added that if the cruise season is finally authorized by Uruguay, visitors who land will have to keep to a highly protocolized bubble. This means visitors taking excursions will have to travel in protocol transport to their destination, will enjoy their time at the place and then return under similar circumstances to the cruises.
The Deputy minister also anticipated that if the cruise season request is finally approved, it is planned that those passengers boarding cruises in Uruguay will only take place in the port of Montevideo, to ensure all protocols are complied with. In Punta del Este, meantime access to the cruise vessels is done with connecting launches.
The official added that cruise companies in past seasons have been very much interested in calling at Montevideo, since the pandemic, because Uruguay offers guarantees well above average”, in the context of conditions relative to the region.
Finally Monzeglio said that on Thursday a high level meeting with Tourism officials from Montevideo and Maldonado (Punta del Este), as well as several offices from the Executive and Ports authorities addressed the issue, and agreed on a working agenda.
On 13 March 2020, when the sanitary emergency was declared, the Uruguayan government banned cruise visitors and crew members from landing in local ports.