CDC lifts ban on cruises for phased approach with test voyages

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NEWS: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has lifted the No Sail Order ban on cruising in the U.S. and announced a framework for a phased resumption of cruise ship passenger operations with simulated voyages.

The CDC report says, “Considering the continued spread of COVID-19 worldwide and increased risk of COVID-19 on cruise ships, a careful approach is needed to safely resume cruise ship passenger operations.”

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CDC is establishing requirements to:

  • Mitigate the COVID-19 risk to passengers and crew;
  • Prevent the further spread of COVID-19 from cruise ships into U.S. communities;
  • Protect public health and safety.

The initial phases will consist of testing and additional safeguards for crew members. CDC will ensure cruise ship operators have adequate health and safety protections for crew members while these cruise ship operators build the laboratory capacity needed to test future passengers.

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Subsequent phases will include:

  • Simulated voyages to test cruise ship operators’ ability to mitigate COVID-19 risk;
  • Certification for ships that meet specific requirements;
  • A phased return to cruise ship passenger voyages in a manner that mitigates COVID-19 risk among passengers, crew members and U.S. communities.

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These phases are subject to change based on public health considerations and cruise ship operators’ demonstrated ability to mitigate COVID-19 risk. CDC will issue additional orders as needed and instructions that will be subsequently posted on CDC’s website.

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The Order additionally announces requirements for the initial phases relating to crew testing. CDC considers adequate crew safeguards as demonstrated through laboratory testing for the virus as an integral part of the initial phases prior to resuming passenger operations.

Source: CDC

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