TourMaG.com – Stuck in an endless tunnel, the cruise finally sees the end of the tunnel, an expression dear to the President of the Republic. You now have a date for resuming activities in France …
Erminio Eschena: We have good news indeed. They were expected, as we have been working on this resolution for over a year now, but it is good news nonetheless.
IThere is nothing worse in any economic activity than having no prospects. Today we know the end of this tunnel, we have a date. We must salute the efforts of the authorities and representatives of each of the tourism sectors.
Leisure and travel have been placed in France, in their proper dimension of the program for the resumption of economic activities.
This deadline is consistent with the sanitary conditions of the country and the operational conditions of the cruise industry players.
I would like to remind you that since last August, companies have adopted an unprecedented prevention and health measures system that has proven its worth, allowing more than 450,000 passengers to navigate in complete safety.
This work has now produced this result, the French ports are added to the long list of Mediterranean ports from which it will be possible to resume our activities.
“From June 30, 2021, the cruise will restart in France”
TourMaG.com – To come to the point, from June 30, 2021, will it be possible for cruise passengers to take to the sea again from France?
Erminio Eschena: Exactly, from June 30, 2021, cruising in France will restart. It also means the return of French ports, including Marseille, to the international tourist landscape for the coming summer.
It is in this context that we have tried to work to find a date and offer the best conditions for them to be scheduled.
It was unthinkable that Marseille and the French ports of the Mediterranean would leave the cruise routes as of this summer 2021.
TourMaG.com – So this date is the result of negotiations with the government?
Erminio Eschena: There is no chance, but consultation and discussions.
It was obvious that cruises would be an essential element in the resumption of tourist activities in France.
While cruises make a major contribution, even unprecedented, because if we make travel French nationals, but we contribute to supply France with international tourism.
We aim to enrich the resumption of activities in the territory.
“Strictly speaking, there will be no more gauge, but the health protocols remain”
TourMaG.com – This date of June 30, 2021 will also give the actors time to restart the machine …
Erminio Eschena: Yes that is a good thing.
This date of June 30 is part of a gradual resumption of leisure activities, with a calendar allowing the rise of tourism.
The resumption of cruises was also to be done with ports and cities able to accommodate in the best conditions the cruise passengers whether French or foreign. There had to be a balance between resuming cruising and deconfining the territories.
TourMaG.com – Is the sector in a satisfactory state to restart after almost a year and a half of shutdown in France?
Erminio Eschena: It will restart, but remember that it has already resumed between Italy and Malta, but also Greece.
There is a little activity, it will also resume before us in England, Croatia or Greece. If the recovery was reasoned, because of health protocols, we are not starting from scratch.
These health protocols have been proven and show their effectiveness.
TourMaG.com – From June 30, 2021, there will be no more gauge for cruises departing from France?
Erminio Eschena: Strictly speaking, there will be no more gauge, but the fact remains that the health protocols developed by the CLIA and applied by all the companies will remain in force.
In addition, the measures concerning the movement of French and foreign nationals are maintained. The recovery will not take place in a standardized framework, but there is no gauge per se.
Regarding river tourism, I don’t really have any information, but the recovery could be done before June 30, 2021.
“The CLIA protocol will continue to apply … before boarding we will retest everyone”
TourMaG.com – After 15 months in France, is this the end of the battles for the CLIA?
Erminio Eschena: The resumption does not mean the end of discussions with local and national authorities. The recovery must be monitored with the companies as well as by the authorities.
The resumption of cruises also gives another visibility compared to another contribution for the country, namely shipbuilding.
On this subject, I would like to add that this prospect gives impetus, not only to construction and to industrialists to accelerate the level of energy transition.
The recovery will plunge us again, after this long crisis, into the development of new technologies.
TourMaG.com – Passengers will have to undergo a PCR test before boarding?
Erminio Eschena: Yes, of course the PCR tests will remain in effect.
The CLIA protocol will continue to apply, so cruise passengers will check that French people who board will have a negative PCR test, but before boarding we will retest everyone to respect the health bubble.
The latter will not disappear, the recovery will take place under the same conditions as what was done elsewhere, in Italy for example, with foolproof health security.
After there is no competition between European ports, the approach has been different and disparate depending on the country.
TourMaG.com – Why has this date of June 30, 2021 been stopped? Is it because of the opening of vaccination for all French adults from June 15?
Erminio Eschena: I would say in general that the country is part of a gradual recovery of leisure activity, all sectors combined. In this context, we have succeeded in positioning the cruise well.
Certainly the studies of the protocols, the experience of the cruise companies and the final decision were confirmed by the visit of the marine firefighters from Marseille to Genoa to live and judge in real conditions, the protocols of the shipowners.
This visit was unequivocal, the feedback was complimentary.
Posted by Romain Pommier
Journalist – TourMaG.com
See all articles by Romain Pommier