New protocol for cruises arriving in the Balearics – Covid-19 tests when disembarking

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UK travellers hoping to go on a Mediterranean cruise this summer should be aware that there will be new measures before disembarking in the Spanish islands. The Spanish government has yet to authorise cruise ships.

The Spanish authorities have announced a very strict protocol for those ships disembarking in the Balearic Islands this summer.

This new protocol is now being forwarded to all cruise operators which intend to do stopovers at Balearic ports, such as Mallorca.

The measures being demanded by the Balearic government include antigen tests for all passengers every time they disembark the cruise.

If for some reason this is not possible, the Spanish authorities will perform the test on arrival at the port.

This measure is in line with the existing regulation for anyone entering the Balearics, which is to have a negative test done within 72 hours of arrival.

Negative tests for all passengers and crew before starting a cruise trip will be required, regardless of the port of origin.

Another demanded measure concerns those who wish to go on excursions to explore the islands.

Passengers will only be allowed to go on scheduled excursions with their “stable coexistence group”.

Interaction between ship personnel and other guests should also be minimised. 

Cruise lines will also have to request authorisation from the health authorities prior to the trip.

This will have to be requested at least 20 days in advance of arrival at a port.

The Spanish authorities will have to receive in advance information about the itinerary of the cruise, the stops, duration, capacity of the ship and health contingency plans.

The Spanish government is now being urged to open ports to international cruise operators.

Spain is currently in the UK’s amber list of countries, which means a mandatory 10 day quarantine is required upon return.

The UK Government has advised against travelling to amber or red list countries on holiday.

Although international travel is back from Monday, May 17, unfortunately for UK travellers, holidays in Mallorca will need to wait a bit longer.

Transport Secretary Grant Schapps said that the lists will be updated regularly.

It is expected they will be reviewed every three weeks.

The first review is reportedly set for the first week of June, with changes coming into force a week later.

This means Spain could potentially find itself on the green list by mid-June if its situation improves.

Cruise holidays have been on hold for Britons for more than a year now.

However, as travel rules begin to relax in May, many cruise lines are looking to restart holidays soon.

Although most of the cruise lines have their holiday suspended until the end of June, some companies like Carnival Cruise Line or Celebrity Cruises are looking to resume a few at the beginning of June.

Find out what cruise lines will be restarting after May here.

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