CDC Announces Next Phase of Guidance to Resume Cruising in the United States
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today announced that cruise lines can officially move into Phase II of the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) for the resumption of cruising in the United States. This is the first update that the CDC has provided since first issuing the CSO on October 30, 2020.
"The next phase of technical guidance under the CSO requires cruise lines to establish agreements at ports where they intend to operate, implement routine testing of crew, and develop plans incorporating vaccination strategies to reduce the risk of introduction and spread of COVID-19 by crew and passengers," the CDC’s announcement of the new phase.
Phase II includes a number of technical instructions including increasing cruise COVID-19 reporting frequency from weekly to daily. It also updates a color-coding system used to classify ships related to COVID-19 and addresses routine testing of crew based on a ship's color.
In this new announcement the CDC also addressed vaccines for passengers and crew, "As more people are fully vaccinated, the phased approach allows CDC to incorporate these advancements into planning for resumption of cruise ship travel when it is safe to do so. CDC recommends that all eligible port personnel and travelers (passengers and crew) get a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available to them."
Simulated trial passenger voyages were not included in today’s new update. According to the CDC, these voyages will be a part of Phase III.
Over the past few weeks, travel organizations such as CLIA and ASTA have issued calls to the CDC to provide new guidance about a planned phased-in resumption of cruising in the U.S. Read More: CLIA Urges CDC to Allow Sailings from US Ports by July
Read the full statement from the CDC on Cruise Ship Guidance at: https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/cruise/index.html.
Going into this next phase of the CSO is a step in the right direction as it allows cruise lines to have a path to begin to move forward with resuming cruise operations in the United States. Make sure you’ve signed up for our weekly newsletter to get the latest cruise updates.