(CMR) Some cruise ship lines may require their employees to get vaccinated when they return to full operation.
According to Crew Center, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Silversea Cruises will require crew members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine before boarding and resuming work on the cruise ships.
Jonathon Fishman, a spokesperson for Royal Caribbean Group, said a letter had been sent to employees advising them of the cruise line's position regarding employees receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, USA Today reported.
“We sent a crew letter out saying that we’d require vaccines,” Fishman said.
“So far, several vaccines have shown to be effective at preventing both mild and severe symptoms of COVID-19, and we intend to make them a key component of our healthy return to service. Therefore, we expect vaccinations will be required for our crew as part of our plan for your return to working on our ships,” the letter which was posted on Crew Centre reads.
In the letter, Royal Caribbean said it did not have all the answers about when and how the crew members will be vaccinated.
“The vaccination process may be different depending on the country of residence, the timing of the next contract, and whether the crew is already onboard or traveling. Royal Caribbean Group will keep updating the crew and asked for patience as the company is working through these details,” the letter continues.
The letter also added that a decision was not yet made if passengers would be required to get vaccinated.
However, it said with US river cruise lines such as Saga Cruises, American Queen Steamboat Company, and Victory Cruise Lines requiring that passengers get vaccinated, “it seems like things are going in this direction.”
“The health of our crew and guests remains our No. 1 priority. At this point in our planning, based on science and the guidance of our experts, we are shifting from a strategy based primarily on protocols to one that is based on vaccines, supported by protocols,” Fishman said.
A representative from Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings also told USA Today that the cruise line wanted its crew to be vaccinated.
“We are exploring all options regarding vaccinations for guests and crew, and it is our intention that all crew members be vaccinated before boarding our vessels to begin their duties, subject to availability of the vaccine,” senior vice president of investor relations Andrea DeMarco said.