TUI Group has said it expects to restart cruise service this summer, but with less occupancy.
The company, which oversees the TUI, Hapag-Lloyd and Marella brands, said the changes will start at boarding, with new health questionnaires. screening preboarding and staggered boarding groups.
The company also said it plans to start with less than 1,000 guests on each ship until August 31, 2020, meaning TUI’s big ships, with capacity for just under 3,000 guests, would be sailing at approximately one-third occupancy, allowing for much more distance in public areas.
Other changes include the elimination of self-service food. Public venues will also be limited to one-third of their capacity. Only 10 children will be allowed in the Kids’ Club aboard, the company said.
In addition, the ships will operate at what TUI called OPP-3 (Outbreak Prevention Plan Level 3), meaning constant cleaning of touched services, every 30 minutes or less. The company said it expects to have COVID-19 testing capabilities aboard with additional medical staff.
The cruise line will work closely with ports to develop joint procedures to handle any possible COVID-19 cases, according to a statement.