Before embarking, passengers and staff should be tested
Doctors agree to get a COVID-19 test as close to the embarkation date as possible, ideally within 48 hours, will help lower the risk of someone who has the virus getting on board. The most effective test —the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test— can take a few days to get results, depending on backlogs; that may limit its effectiveness for figuring out who is virus-free on embarkation day. But it is still worth doing, doctors said.
While at sea, ships should have testing capabilities onboard to mitigate outbreaks
Cruise ships should have COVID-19 tests and lab capabilities onboard so that passengers and crew can be tested regularly and don’t have to wait for tests to be flown to a lab on land to get a result.
[Testing prior to boarding] is reasonable. [Tests] are a snapshot in time. If I get a negative test today, it means I am negative right now, not tomorrow or the day after.
Dr. William Schaffner, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Develop a COVID-19 Test Plan for Your Ships
Example of a Testing Regimen
Establish a baseline with an initial onsite COVID-19 PCR test & Serology session for all passengers and staff. Offer symptomatic & Contact Tracing Testing onsite COVID-19 PCR test. Perform daily temperature checks at the beginning of each day to identify symptomatic people. If there are positives for any of the above, people should undergo further evaluation, testing, treatment, quarantine, and/or clearance.
According to the CDC: ~85% will test negative, based on current COVID-19 testing data. Retest those that test positive in 14 days, monitor symptoms, negative for 72hrs before reentry. Symptomatic people should stay Home and Monitor Health (Quarantine). Stay home until 14 days after last exposure. Check temperature twice a day and watch for symptoms of COVID-19. If possible, stay away from people who are at higher-risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.
Protect Your Crew and Passengers
Fill out the test request form to get started. One of our specialists will follow up with a consultative call and help you craft a plan to keep your crew and passengers safe. We can help with on site testing at ports of embarkation, or supply cruise lines with top quality tests.