The CDC has lifted the “No Sail” order for cruise ships but don’t expect to be boarding your favorite vessel anytime soon.
The CDC’s original “No Sail” order was instituted back in March in response to the coronavirus pandemic and was extended through October 31. After months of uncertainty, the U.S. cruise industry has now been given the go-ahead to start sailing – with a few conditions.
According to Travel+Leisure, the CDC has issued a “Conditional Sail Order” – basically a framework for a phased resumption of cruise ship passenger operations as we continue to deal with COVID-19.
CDC is working to control #COVID19 on cruise ships and prevent further spread of the virus. CDC’s Framework for Conditional Sailing Order requires increased testing capacity and other safeguards before passenger operations resume. https://t.co/eFBHJbpuk3 pic.twitter.com/mkQ4WGom0J
— CDC (@CDCgov) October 30, 2020
CNN reports all crew members will be tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis and provided with PPE equipment. Vessels will also undergo simulated voyages with volunteers pretending to be passengers to “test cruise ship operators” ability to mitigate COVID-19 risk.
Cruise ship companies who meet these requirements and obtain proper certification will be on track to “return to passenger voyages in a manner that mitigates COVID-19 risk among passengers, crew members, and communities,” People reports.
“This framework provides a pathway to resume safe and responsible sailing. It will mitigate the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks on ships and prevent passengers and crew from seeding outbreaks at ports and in the communities where they live,” CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D said in a press release. “CDC and the cruise industry have a shared goal to protect crew, passengers, and communities and will continue to work together to ensure that all necessary public health procedures are in place before cruise ships begin sailing with passengers.”