Environment Related Practices for Emergency Response to Infectious Disease Outbreak on Cruise Ships

Conference: The European Conference on Aging & Gerontology (EGen2022)
Title: Environment Related Practices for Emergency Response to Infectious Disease Outbreak on Cruise Ships
Stream: Built Environment
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Evangelia Chrysikou, University College London, United Kingdom
Eleftheria Savvopoulou, University College London, United Kingdom
Eva Hernandez Garcia, University College London, United Kingdom


COVID-19 pandemic has heavily impacted cruise industry globally. This project explored measures and strategies that could be adopted internationally for an emergency response on-board of a cruise ship against COVID-19 outbreak and potential infectious threats in the future. Research took place in October 2020-March 2021. Methodology used comprised of consultation sessions with international experts on public health, epidemiology, tourism and cruise management, as well as systematic and narrative literature reviews. Data collected was organised under four main themes: a) clinical advice on virus viability and interaction with surfaces; b) prevention and protective measures; c) suggestions on short and long term responses; d) thermal and ventilation mechanisms and their effect on virus transmission. This project managed to summarise suggestions for the preparedness of a cruise ship during a pandemic from ports preparation to on-board measures, to repatriation. Demonstrated the importance of spatial characteristics in the preparedness of a ship and pointed that guidance suggested for cruise ships was similar to other built environment contexts. The effect pandemic can have upon crew and passengers’ psychological wellbeing during an outbreak was also highlighted. With social activity on board having to be restricted due to Covid-19, it is evident that the cruise experience as we know it will need to change. The importance of future studies focusing on how this change will impact cruise industry including crew hygiene and mental health support during outbreaks is worth exploring.

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