CDC: Cruises From United States Can Restart Mid-July with Right Conditions
It is sounding more and more likely that cruises may restarting from the United States sooner rather than later. Per a letter obtained by the USA TODAY, the Centers for Disease Control has let major cruise lines know that it is likely they may resume cruises from the United States by mid-July if the right conditions are met.
Last year, the CDC lifted their No Sail Order and issued a Conditional Sail Order. The Conditional Sail Order authorized cruise lines to start sailing again if certain conditions were met including test cruises.
Since then, cruise lines that sail from the United States have been left in limbo while waiting to get approval from the CDC to begin their test cruises. Cruise lines have requested that this requirement of test cruises be lifted since it has taken the CDC so long to get these guidelines out. Many politicians, including those from Florida where tens of thousands of residents work in the cruise industry, have gone as far as suing the CDC.
But, with this news from the USA Today, it looks like that light at the end of the tunnel is finally coming for cruises to set sail once again from the United States.
Here are the updated conditions the USA TODAY is reporting cruise lines from the United States will be required to be met by the CDC:
- Ships can bypass the required simulated test voyages carrying volunteers and jump to sailings with paying passengers if 98% of crew and 95% of passengers are fully vaccinated.
- CDC will review and respond to applications from cruise lines for simulated voyages within five days, a review previously expected to take 60 days.
- CDC will update its testing and quarantine requirements for passengers and crew on sailings with paying passengers to align with the CDC’s guidance for fully vaccinated people. So, for example, instead of taking a PCR lab test ahead of boarding, vaccinated passengers can take a rapid antigen test upon embarkation.
- CDC has clarified that cruise ship operators may enter into a “multi-port agreement” rather than a single port agreement as long as all port and local authorities sign the agreement.
- The CDC has clarified guidance on quarantine guidelines for passengers who may be exposed to or contract COVID-19. For example, local passengers may be able to drive home and passengers who have traveled by air to cruise may quarantine in a hotel.
Currently, there are cruises already scheduled to sail from destinations just outside of the United States including that Disney Magic at Sea voyages for residents of the United Kingdom from the United Kingdom. Now, fingers crossed that we will hear something soon when we can start cruising again from the United States – hopefully as early as this July! Make sure to lock in your cruise now as prices are about ready to increase!
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