SINGAPORE: The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is looking into an alleged breach of COVID-19 safe management measures on a Royal Caribbean cruise.
Photos of a group of more than 10 men and women on the cruise ship were posted on the photo sharing platform Instagram. The passengers were not wearing masks and were standing or seated close to one another.
STB’s director of cruise Annie Chang said the board is aware of the incident and is looking into the matter.
“We take a serious view of any breach in safe management measures on cruises departing from Singapore. The safety of passengers and crew is our priority, and regular on-board inspections are conducted during sailings to ensure compliance with all prevailing safe management measures.
“These include ensuring that the maximum prevailing group size is not exceeded and there is no intermingling between different groups. Passengers are also required to wear masks on board,” Ms Chang added.
STB said that cruise lines found to be non-compliant with the CruiseSafe penalty framework will be subject to penalties, which can include fines, suspension of sailings and revocation of the CruiseSafe certification.
In response to queries from CNA, Royal Caribbean said its Ocean Getaways cruise has incorporated the same principles and safety measures that have been implemented by the health authorities in Singapore for public places on land, including shopping malls and restaurants.
This includes a limit to the number of people who are allowed to be gathered in a group.
To remind their guests, Royal Caribbean said it has clear demarcations throughout the ship and other posted signs in place.
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“In addition, our crew members are trained to remind guests to comply with the health and safety regulations onboard. On occasion, we also have STB inspectors conducting spot checks onboard our cruises.
“The recent breach in safe distancing measures seems to have been an instance where a group gathered for some pictures, and we are currently investigating it. We would like to remind our guests that any failure to comply with the rules will lead to enforcement action, including being denied boarding or removal from the ship,” added Royal Caribbean.