The global cruise industry has largely ground to halt due to virus-related travel restrictions.
Singapore hopes to start “cruises to nowhere” in a bid to revive its coronavirus-hit tourism industry, but critics warned on Monday against a risky move that could spark Covid-19 outbreaks.
The global cruise industry has largely ground to halt due to virus-related travel restrictions, and following a series of outbreaks on packed vessels.
But the tourism board in Singapore, a key port and transport hub in Asia, is holding talks with cruise lines on putting on voyages that depart from and return to the city-state.
Officials will put in place “appropriate measures that will enable cruises to resume in a safe manner,” the board’s cruise director Annie Chang told AFP. She did not say when the cruises might start.
However Marcie Keever, oceans and vessels programme director at Friends of the Earth, warned about “the potential to have Covid outbreaks” on cruise liners.
“The cruise industry was a large contributor to Covid outbreaks in several ports around the world,” she told AFP.
She also warned about the environmental impact of restarting cruises.
Last week, Singapore Airlines ditched a plan to launch “flights to nowhere” to boost its virus-hit finances following an outcry over the impact on the climate.
Several cruise lines worldwide, including Britain’s P&O Cruises and Norway’s Hurtigruten, have cancelled all sailings for now due to travel restrictions.
Singapore saw virus outbreaks in crowded dormitories housing low-paid migrant workers, but they have now largely been brought under control.
The pandemic has dealt a blow to London’s tourism industry, which employs one in seven of the capital’s workers. The cobblestones are deserted at the Tower of London. A biting wind blows and there is no sign of life.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought the world's top tourist draws, from the ruins of Machu Piccu to Thailand's sandy beaches, to a standstill.
The government has also introduced a Pass Track Application that all travellers will be required to install in their mobile phones. A health declaration form is also required to be filled 48 hours before arriving in the country.
The US Geological Survey said the quake was centered about 33 kilometres (20 miles) from Gaziantep, a major city and provincial capital. It was centered 18 kilometres (11 miles) deep, and a strong 6.7 aftershock rumbled about 10 minutes later.
Suspect had a criminal record and was jailed pending a case of illegal trade in foreign exchange outside the banking market at black market prices.
On Sunday, the Iraqi Ministry of Interior announced the arrest of a man suspected of killing his wife in Diwaniyah Governorate of central Iraq.