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

TOKYO — Japan will raise 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 originally of the pandemic, transport officers stated Tuesday.

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

(*2*) stated Transport and Tourism Minister Tetsuo Saito. “We will create an environment that allows tourists to enjoy their cruise without worry while in Japan.”

Exact schedule for cruise ships has not been introduced. Among the primary 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 compelled 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.

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

Cruise ship operators are anticipated to focus on with native authorities additional particulars about their port entry plans. Japan’s resumption of worldwide cruise liners comes greater than a year after they returned to the United States and Europe.

Under the brand new pointers, all crew members will need to have three acquired three coronavirus vaccine pictures whereas most passengers should be vaccinated at the very least twice. The guideline additionally requires thorough air flow, distancing and disinfecting of widespread areas.

Japan, after a lot delay in contrast to 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.

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

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