Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina have announced the vaccine certificates and protocols which will be demanded from cruise vessel passengers and crewmembers this coming summer season if they are to call in the three countries as part of their South American tours.
According to Uruguayan Tourism ministry officials this is excellent news and should help the cruise season to recover some of its vitality since vessels will be allowed to call the three countries ports, and hopefully will be a boost for the business.
Uruguay which is the country in the Americas that has best managed the vaccination campaign against the pandemic, and this weekend made public the measures that must be complied by vessels, passengers and crew members, particularly if they have plans to disembark.
The release from the Uruguayan Public Health ministry states that the objective of the measures is to minimize the risk of introducing new coronavirus variants, since conditions in cruise vessels are complex from a sanitary perspective and in the event of a coronavirus situation. The risk is increased by the agglomeration of possible cases among a mostly ageing population, with comorbidities, and thus are a group of high risk plus the complications that may appear during the disease
This means that before boarding passengers and crew will need to have a valid complete vaccination certificate with at least fourteen days since the last shot and travel insurance that includes Covid. The cruise company must also present a Covid 19 Management Plan, at least two weeks before calling in any Uruguayan port.
The Health ministry suggests no person should be allowed onboard the cruise vessel who have had recent contact with positive cases or ththat present symptomompatible with coronavirus, during at least the last fourteen days. Those who have tested positive or have been in contact with positive cases must give evidence of a medical release or have finished with the mandatory quarantine period.
Finally, if outside passengers are to embark in vessels in Uruguayan ports, a sanitary corridor must be established with certified transport and of exclusive use from the airport to the vessel. In all cases sanitary measures and protection measures are mandatory.
Likewise, those cruise passengers who wish to land in Uruguay must present a negative coronavirus antigen test of up to 24 hours before setting foot in Uruguayan soil. If cruise passengers are planning tours in Uruguay, they must do them in vehicles exclusively contracted for that purpose. And the staff working in those vehicles must be registered to allow an alert if any of them shows coronavirus symptoms up to fourteen days after doing the tour or transport.
Beginning November some cruise vessels are scheduled to call in Uruguay, but the largest number will be in February. Hopefully, December will offer a clear idea of how successful the cruise season can be.