Council OKs agreement with cruise line for visits

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Carnival outlines safety protocols in agreement subject to CDC approval

The City Council this week unanimously approved a memorandum of agreement with Carnival Cruise Line in preparation for the return of cruise ships to Avalon. (In related news, the Carnival cruise ship Miracle is scheduled to visit Avalon on Tuesday, Sept. 28, according to a statement issued this week by Love Catalina Island. The non-profit group, also known as the Catalina Island Tourism Authority, announced an updated list of scheduled cruise ship visits. The Carnival Miracle visit was listed as confirmed on the Love Catalina website.)

The agreement must still be approved by the Centers for Disease Control, according to City Attorney Scott Campbell.

According to City Manager Denise Radde described the MOA as an agreement with Avalon, the Los Angeles County Public Health Department, and Carnival.

She said 95% of passengers would have to prove they had COVID vaccinations; the remaining children and adults would have to prove they had tested negative.

According to Radde, the agreement had a seven-day termination clause.

“I did not see anything about contact tracing. Will they be discussing that?” asked Councilmember Yesenia De La Rosa.

Campbell said if they have an outbreak on the boat, they are not coming to Avalon. According to Campbell, Carnival understands that Avalon does not have the ability to support an outbreak.

Assistant City Manager Michael Parmer said the harbor master has the right to not allow a boat to dock if there is a matter of concern.

Later in the discussion, Gina Herrera, of Best, Best & Krieger (the city attorney’s law firm) said contract tracing was included in the agreement.

Councilmember Lisa Lavelle expressed confidence in the cruise ship protocols, saying she has had friends who have gone on cruises.

Councilmember Cinde MacGugan-Cassidy said she felt confident with the agreement.

She also said she feels more comfortable with cruise ships because they require proof of vaccination or testing.

However, Cassidy said she wasn’t sure contact tracing was really happening anymore.

Councilmember Michael Ponce said passengers would have to wear masks when they were on the tender coming ashore.