The new draft EU Horizon Europe has a research and innovation (RIA) action entitled "Controlling infection on large passenger ships" (Topic HORIZON-CL5-2021-D6-01-12). The expected results of this action are given below:
Communicable infections (Covid-19, influenza, norovirus) do not spread rapidly amongst passengers and crew on large passenger ships, in particular on cruise ships. The spread is controllable also beyond the vessel in ports and port communities.
- Communicable infections on board large passenger ships can be detected systematically at an early stage and effective measures are put in place to prevent the spread of infection. Crews and other personnel are duly trained.
- Large passenger ships are intrinsically designed to prevent the spread of infection and to facilitate measures in case of detection to eliminate further spread.
- An evidence base has been established concerning the specific mechanisms facilitating the on-board spread of infection and the effectiveness of different mitigation methods. • A knowledge base is publicly available concerning mechanisms facilitating the spread of on-board infection, mitigation measures and underlying evidence.
- Evidence based guidance for healthy passenger ship design is available to improve the design of ships which can help avoiding infections and facilitate the detection on board infections at an early stage, inherently mitigate the spread of infection and facilitate actions to prevent its further spread.
Furthermore, the scope of the call highlights some of the specific issues pertinent to the ANA region. For example: " This can be particularly problematic for (generally smaller) passenger ships that undertake longer expedition-type cruises away from population centres, thus entirely or predominantly relying on on-board medical services and facilities."