The Palma XXI association is warning of the “enormous risk” that mega-cruise ships pose for public health because of Covid. With 54 people who were positive having been taken off a ship in Palma on Thursday, the pressure group says that, in addition to the serious environmental, social and public health impacts which already questioned cruise tourism, Covid has made it imperative “to take sensible decisions and stop this type of tourism”.
“Covid outbreaks on mega-cruise ships have exploded around the world, especially since the highly contagious Omicron variant appeared. We are talking about huge ships, transporting thousands of people from various places, with many interior spaces, going from port to port. A biological time bomb in the middle of a pandemic. They represent a danger to crews and passengers and to the people of cities they visit, and to which fall the responsibility for dealing with positive cases.”
Palma XXI points out that in Brazil, after 800 Covid cases of COVID-19 among crew members and passengers were recorded in ten days, the government suspended all cruise operations. The US has blocked the entry of at least 60 cruise ships with Covid outbreaks. For Palma XXI, these have been “decisions consistent with the prioritisation of public health over economic interests and which also give a dissuasive message to cruise companies and customers”.
“We are asking our institutions to act and stop looking the other way. Until the pandemic ends, we demand that the Balearic government, the Balearic Ports Authority and the Spanish government stop the entry of cruise ships in Palma, as was the case in 2020.”