The global ferry industry is prepared to contribute to the reopening of non-essential travel, said Mike Corrigan
Trade association Interferry has welcomed the European Commission’s guidance on the gradual relaxation of travel restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic ahead of the summer travel and tourism season.
“We welcome the growing signs in Europe and beyond that Covid-19 lockdown restrictions are starting to be eased,” said Mike Corrigan, Interferry CEO. “The global ferry industry is prepared to contribute to the safe reopening of non-essential travel. We hope the European Commission’s positive response to ferry operator guidelines can provide other administrations around the world the confidence that ferry operators stand ready for an orderly and closely monitored restart of passenger services.”
The association says that it is cautiously optimistic about the possibility of a tourist season, though it expects this to be on a largely regionalised basis. It views the return of ferry services as essential to the viability of many companies.
“Passenger traffic has been virtually non-existent during the pandemic, with operators reduced to maintaining lifeline supplies of essential goods in the face of ever-mounting financial losses,” said Corrigan. “Ferries are likely to be a prime choice of transport mode for leisure travellers as restrictions loosen up, given the ability to adhere to physical distancing and the many safety measures the industry has adopted.”
Interferry’s guidelines for terminals and onboard ferries include social distancing markings, reduced passenger capacity and controls on numbers admitted to shops and dining areas. Intensified cleaning and disinfection regimes are advised, as well as allowing passengers to stay in their vehicles on short voyages.
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