After a long run of the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) placing travel restrictions on international visitors, they have now decided to stop. The changes were made in response to the first major wave of travelers from Ebola-stricken countries entering the United States. However, some doctors and public health experts are questioning how effective these new procedures will be if it is done solely as an opt-in program.,

The “cdc conditional sail order update” is a voluntary change in the CDC’s Conditional Sail Order. What happens next?

CDC's Conditional Sail Order Now Voluntary — What Happens Next?

The Conditional Sailing Order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is slated to expire on January 15. Instead, the EPA has launched the COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships Operating in US Waters, a new optional program that cruise companies may join.

Which Cruise Lines Are Expected to Participate?

CDC headquarters

(Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Cruise lines must sign up for the program by January 21st, according to the CDC. If they do, they’ll have to follow the agency’s instructions, and their ships’ color status will be determined by the number of COVID-19 instances recorded aboard.

The following is the current color status chart:

  • Green: No instances of COVID-19 or COVID-like disease have been documented (CLI)
  • COVID-19 instances reported are below the CDC’s threshold for investigation.
  • Yellow: COVID-19 instances have reached the threshold for CDC investigation.
  • COVID-19 instances reported at or above the threshold for CDC inquiry are highlighted in red. Additional public health precautions have been implemented.
  • Gray: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not evaluated or validated the cruise ship’s health and safety practices.

A line’s ships will be shown as gray if it opts out of the program. The only exception is that ships flying the American flag that do not adhere to the program will not be labeled as gray.

The CDC director’s recent statements on the decision not to extend the Conditional Sailing Order suggest that the agency is confident in the cruise industry’s COVID-19 preventative and mitigation efforts.

The new program is comparable to the Conditional Sailing Order, but not identical.

The New Program’s Specifics:

  • The CDC’s investigation threshold will be raised from.1% passenger cases or one or more crew cases to.3% of passengers and/or crew. Under the color-coding method, this will be yellow or orange. The status criteria for “red” are also being revised.
  • Testing will continue, and ships with at least 95 percent completely vaccinated personnel and passengers may continue to decrease or remove onboard precautions such as masks and physical separation.
  • Self-serve beverage outlets will be permitted to continue, and self-serve food businesses will be allowed to commence.
  • Negative air pressure will not be necessary in quarantine cabins, although they must still be in a separate HVAC zone. Negative air pressure must be maintained in isolation booths.
  • Medical treatment and accommodation facilities for persons who need to quarantine will still need port agreements between US ports and local health authorities.
  • The necessity for a simulated cruise will be removed.
  • Unannounced inspections and outbreak investigations will continue to be conducted by the CDC.

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The “cdc cruise guidelines 7 days” is a new voluntary policy by the CDC. It states that passengers should stay on board their ship for at least 7 days if they are in a country with an outbreak.

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