Nassau Cruise Port (NCP) is investing more into health and safety as it prepares to eventually accept cruise passengers when the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown measures are lifted, the company’s Chief Executive Officer Mike Maura said, adding that the port will have to manage thousands of people concerned about health and safety on any given day.
Maura, who spoke to Guardian Business during a recent online meeting, said the new port facilities being constructed by NCP will include medical examination rooms and quarantine facilities.
“Leading up to COVID-19 we had actually redesigned,” said Maura. “Are we investing more into health and safety? The answer is yes. Will we, like other ports, be looking at new, revised sanitation protocols, as we have to handle the management of thousands of people moving through our facility on any given day? Yes.
“It also goes beyond specifically the cruise-traffic management because 50 percent of what Nassau Cruise Port is all about is retail, it’s about food and beverage, it’s about entertainment; and so those aspects of the design are also going to be influenced as a result of COVID-19, no different than what the Dallas Cowboys may be looking at in terms of how they are going to manage those people attending a game or how airports are going to deal with it from a shopping and retail perspective.
“So these health and safety protocols are all things that are being designed into our space.”
Maura said sanitation protocols are already in place at the port even though there are no ships in port, because there are no sailings during the pandemic.
Chairman of Global Ports Holding Mehmet Kutman contended during the call that cruise lines will have to step up their public relations in the wake of COVID-19 to assure future passengers that ships are safe.
He said while cruise lines are often the first to be cited as a concern for the spread of contagions, studies show that the rate of transmission is higher on land.
“The biggest problem is public relations of the cruise lines,” said Kutman.
Former Norwegian Cruise Line Chief Executive Officer Andy Stuart, who was also present at the online meeting, said cruise lines have hired the foremost health experts to help them return safely to business.