The US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has given the cruise industry the go-ahead to resume cruises, but issues stringent rules for crew and passengers.
The CDC has given the green light for cruises to resume from US ports by mid-July. The agency said in a letter to the industry on Wednesday that cruises will be permitted providing lines meet the conditions of the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order that was drafted last October.
“We acknowledge that cruising will never be a zero-risk activity and that the goal of the CSO’s phased approach is to resume passenger operations in a way that mitigates the risk of Covid-19 transmission onboard cruise ships and across port communities,” wrote Aimee Treffiletti, who heads the maritime unit of the CDC’s Global Mitigation Task Force for Covid-19 response.
As part of the phased approach for the safe resumption of cruises, the agency said sailings can go ahead if 98% of crew and 95% of passengers have been vaccinated against Covid-19. Social distancing and testing onboard will also be required.
“The timeline for re-sailing is dependent on the cruise operators’ pace and compliance with the Conditional Sailing Order,” CDC spokesperson Caitlin Shockey told USA Today on Thursday. “Ships with a vaccination attestation will be able to bypass simulated voyages, speeding up the timeline for those operators.”