CDC Lifts 'No Sail' Order For Cruise Ships Sailing In U.S. Waters
Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw
After months of extending its 'No Sail' order, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifted the restriction on Friday, permitting ships to set sail again starting 01NOV – under a number of conditions.
On 30OCT, the CDC announced a new framework for a 'Conditional Sail' Order that would allow major cruise companies to head out in waters subject to U.S. jurisdiction. The Order, which applies to passenger operations on cruise ships with a capacity of at least 250 passengers, is a first cautious step toward the resumption of cruising in an industry that has been devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic since the no-sail order was first placed on 14MAR.
Described as a "phased resumption of cruise ship operations," the updated advisory requires all crew members to be tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis and be provided with personal protection equipment. Vessels will undergo "mock voyages", with volunteers playing the role of passengers to test virus mitigation strategies on trips. Ships must establish written agreements with ports approving shoreside facilities if a passenger or crew members needs to quarantine or be evacuated. Passengers must also undergo testing when arriving and departing the ship.
Cruises with passengers will only be allowed to resume once a ship receives its "COVID-19 Conditional Sailing Certificate."
"This framework provides a pathway to resume safe and responsible sailing. It will mitigate the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks on ships and prevent passengers and crew from seeding outbreaks at ports and in the communities where they live," CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said in a statement.
Anna Kroupina Journalist
Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.