With the CDC’s July 17th start date for the new cruise ship sanitary inspection protocol only a few weeks away, there has been some concern that it may be impossible to complete the mandatory two voyages for all ships by the deadline. Now, according to Cruise Fever, the CDC has agreed to grant a waiver to any ships that have their full staff onboard by July 17th, meaning that any ship not yet ready to go could get a waiver to start up to 30 days later.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that the cruise industry is on the verge of its first full season without a mandatory requirement to test ship sanitation systems for coliform bacteria. The CDC has stated that a new report shows that the two-test requirement at the start and end of a season is not necessary. Currently, cruise ships test for coliform levels twice at the start and end of every season. A report by CDC scientists showed that the cruise line’s sanitation systems are running at acceptable levels of cleanliness. The scientists also compared two-test requirements to one-test requirements and found that the results were virtually identical.
Important cruise news today: Cruises may resume in U.S. waters by mid-summer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a letter to the cruise industry, which came into the hands of USA TODAY.
In a statement accompanying the letter, spokeswoman Caitlin Shockey gave a more specific timetable. Cruise lines will be able to carry US passengers starting in mid-July, depending on how quickly they can staff the ships and comply with the CDC’s Conditional Master Travel Order.
It also appears that the CCD is beginning to address some of the questions it has been asked by the cruise industry. These include test circumnavigations and new rules and regulations for guests and vaccinated crew members.
In the CDC’s first positive news of the cruise industry’s resurgence in recent months, here are five key points to remember:
- Vessels may proceed to flights with paying passengers after the required simulated test flights with volunteers when 98% of the crew and 95% of the passengers have been fully vaccinated.
- The CDC will review and respond to requests from cruise lines for simulated travel within 5 days, before the review is expected to take 60 days.
- CDC will update its testing and quarantine requirements for passengers and crew members on passenger flights to reflect CDC’s recommendations for fully vaccinated individuals. For example, instead of a PCR test in the laboratory before boarding, vaccinated passengers can take a rapid antigen test on boarding.
- The CCD has clarified that cruise lines can enter into a multi-port agreement instead of a single-port agreement, provided that all port and local authorities sign the agreement.
- The CDC has clarified quarantine guidelines for passengers who may have been exposed to or infected with COVID-19. For example. B. Domestic passengers will travel home by car, while passengers arriving by air for a cruise may spend the quarantine period in a hotel.
Also read : Is time running out for the resumption of cruises to the United States this summer?
In a statement this morning, Richard D. Fain, CEO of Royal Caribbean Corporation, called the Centers for Disease Control’s message a path to a healthy and viable return to work:
Last night, the CDC notified us of a number of clarifications and additions to its conditional sailing instructions that addressed the ambiguities and concerns we had raised. They have addressed many of these issues constructively, using the latest advances in vaccines and medical science. While this is only part of a very difficult process, we are hopeful to see the road to a healthy and viable return to form, hopefully in time for the season in Alaska.
All these measures are very important and save time. They will significantly reduce the time it takes to resume sailing in the United States.
Image credits: Catherine Wells / Shutterstock.com
It now appears that the CDC has taken a step to unite both common sense and science when it comes to resuming cruises from the U.S., and the steps the agency outlines in the letter cannot be understated. This is the first real glimmer of hope.
Aimee Treffiletti, CDC’s COVID-19 marine unit leader for the COVID-19 Global Mitigation Working Group, said in an email:
We recognize that cruising will never be a risk-free activity, and that the goal of CSO’s phased approach is to resume passenger transport in a manner that reduces the risk of transmission of COVID-19 on board cruise ships and in port communities.
CDC also confirmed that it plans to begin passenger services in mid-July.
CDC spokeswoman Caitlin Shockey said:
The CDC is keen to continue working with the industry and encourages cruise lines to submit Phase 2A agreements with ports as soon as possible so that passenger arrangements can be maintained until mid-July.
It’s worth a read: Royal Caribbean’s CEO says he is in constructive talks with the CDC.
Overall, this is good news for the cruise industry, which will be viewed with at least cautious optimism by cruise lines. As more details about this groundbreaking news emerge, we will of course keep you updated on Cruise Hive.
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