Amid the continued suspension of cruising activity, China’s Ministry of Transport announced it is working on optimising the Yangtze estuary approach channels to increase capacity and access efficiency for ships proceeding to/from Shanghai, mainland China’s busiest cruise homeport.

The MOT has also approved a post-COVID 19 ‘cruises to no-where’ operation out of Hainan and is actively seeking the support of a cruise line and ship to participate in the pilot scheme.

However, based on domestic waterway transportation regulations, foreign companies cannot use foreign flagged ships to operate in domestic waters so the pilot scheme is only open to Chinese-owned operators using a Chinese flagged vessel.

Shanghai officials have said cruise tourism will only be allowed to open gradually from the port and has issued guidelines for prevention and control measures covering post-COVID-19 operations.

These include setting up of a COVID-19 prevention and control team, working with relevant parties to monitor and implement protocols.

Prior to cruising resuming, all port staff will need to complete special training course and daily port passenger handling volume should be less than 50% of the maximum daily volume. 

Passengers will need to book an arrival slot at the terminal in advance and register they are in good health.

At the port there will be screening and anyone with a body temperature higher than 37.3 degrees centigrade will not be allowed to board.