Initially set to end on Jan. 21, the temporary suspension of cruise operations in Brazil has been extended until Feb. 4.
In a prepared statement, CLIA Brazil said the decision is voluntary and comes in respect to the “ongoing conversations with the authorities”.
According to the association, cruise lines and the local government are currently discussing the necessary measures that will allow the restart of the domestic cruise operations in the country.
Five ships were in service in Brazilian waters when the season was suspended earlier this month.
At the time, CLIA said the decision was driven by the “uncertainty regarding the application and interpretation” of the operational protocols used for local programs in the country.
“The decision to voluntarily extend the suspension of operations in Brazil contrasts with the (situation) in the United States, where health authorities recognized the effectiveness of cruise industry’s protocols,” the association added, pointing out to the “elevation of the Conditional Sailing Order (CSO), that helped guide the industry’s return to operations in North America.”
As recently announced, the CSO won’t be renewed when it expires on Jan. 15.
CLIA also highlighted the economic impact of the cruise industry in Brazil, in addition to the health and safety protocols that are currently in place in the country.
The measures include mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for guests and crew, preboarding testing and reduced guest capacity.
Cruise lines also test at least ten percent of the onboard population on a frequent basis, while face masks are mandatory for everyone onboard.
Furthermore, cruising is also the only segment in the country that monitors, collects and continuously reports COVID-19 cases directly to government agencies, the association added.
“CLIA members will continue to work together with the authorities, always guided by science and the principle of putting people first place, with proven measures that are adapted according to the scenarios and that guarantee the protection of the passengers, crew and the communities health,” the association said.