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Published on Monday, November 2, 2020

CDC approves resumption of cruising, with strict rules

The cruise industry has applauded the impending return of cruising but it faces a set of rigorous conditions before sailing again.

The current CDC 'No Sail' order has been replaced with a Conditional Sailing order with specific protocols all cruise lines must follow.

Lines must set up testing facilities for crew and passengers before embarkation and before disembarkation.

They must go through a certification process and then may conduct 'simulation' cruises with volunteer passengers to ensure they can effectively handle testing, social distancing and other required protocols.

When ready to resume cruising, all cruise lines must inform customers of the Covid-19 risks, and cruises may not be longer than seven days.

Covid tests must be carried out on all passengers and crew before embarkation and on the ship on the day of disembarkation.

Cruise lines are required to report all test results to the CDC, and mask wearing is mandatory aboard ships.

"Subsequent phases will include simulated voyages to test cruise ship operators' ability to mitigate Covid-19 risk, certification for ships that meet specific requirements and a phased return to cruise ship passenger operations," the CDC said.

Each ship must have its own risk-based plan to mitigate transmissions and have dedicated cabins free to provide isolation facilities.

Cruise lines are 'committed to resume sailing in a responsible manner that keeps public health in the forefront,' Cruise Lines International Association said.

The CDC said there were 3,689 confirmed cases of Covid-19 or Covid-like illness from March to 28 September on cruise ships, which resulted in 41 deaths.


Written by Ray Montgomery, US Editor

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