The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new technical directives and has begun to take a crucial step towards the ultimate restoration of the operations of the U.S. cruise industry. In October, the CDC issued a conditional navigation order for operators as a guide for resuming cruise passenger operations in stages.
On Wednesday, it announced two new phases, and stated that operators now have the necessary “to start simulated sailing and apply for a COVID-19 conditional voyage certificate to begin sailing on restricted passenger voyages before resuming restricted passenger voyages.” All necessary requirements required.
The CDC stated on April 28 that it was “committed” to resuming passenger operations in the cruise industry by midsummer because it issued some clarifications to its earlier orders. The agency also issued an application for a COVID-19 conditional navigation certificate, “the last step is before restrictions on passenger navigation.”
The new guidelines include qualifications and requirements for conducting trial voyages in preparation for restricted passenger voyages and CDC cruise inspections during simulated and restricted passenger voyages.
Once the cruise ship operator receives the approved COVID-19 conditional sailing certificate application, they will be allowed to sail with the passengers.
The International Cruise Line Association, which represents Carnival Corporation (CCL.N), Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH.N) and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCL.N), said on Wednesday that it is reviewing the latest CDC instructions. The association said last week that the “clarification of the CDC shows positive progress-and importantly, a commitment to constructive dialogue, which is the key to restarting the cruise” and expressed optimism.
The team added: “In order to achieve our common goal of responsibly recovering from American ports this summer, much work remains to be done.”
Florida and Alaska have filed lawsuits in an attempt to force the CDC to immediately allow cruise operations to resume.
The CDC stated that the COVID-19 vaccine “plays a key role in safely resuming passenger operations, but not all cruise ship operators have announced plans for mandatory passenger vaccinations.”
The agency stated that it “recommends all port personnel and passengers (passengers and crew) to be vaccinated against COVID-19.”