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CDC Allowing No-Sail Order to Expire and Establishing Framework for Passenger Cruises to Resume

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced their intent to allow the current no-sail order to expire on October 31, 2020. In doing so, they will be establishing a framework for passenger cruises to eventually resume safely.

Phases of the CDC’s plan include testing for crew members, ensuring cruise ship operators have adequate health and safety measures, simulated voyages to test operations, and certification for ships that meet requirements before a phased return to passenger sailings will begin.

Disney Cruise Line departures have been suspended through at least early December. Currently, all four ships are docked in Europe. The maiden voyage of Disney Wish has been postponed from January 2022 to the summer of 2022, with the next two ship launches delayed further.

You can read some of the CDC’s conditional sail order below or click here.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announces this framework for a phased resumption of cruise ship passenger operations. Considering the continued spread of COVID-19 worldwide and increased risk of COVID-19 on cruise ships, a careful approach is needed to safely resume cruise ship passenger operations. CDC is establishing requirements to mitigate the COVID-19 risk to passengers and crew, prevent the further spread of COVID-19 from cruise ships into U.S. communities, and protect public health and safety. After expiration of CDC’s No Sail Order (NSO) on October 31, 2020, CDC will take a phased approach to resuming cruise ship passenger operations in U.S. waters.

The initial phases will consist of testing and additional safeguards for crew members.
CDC will ensure cruise ship operators have adequate health and safety protections for crew members while these cruise ship operators build the laboratory capacity needed to test future passengers. Subsequent phases will include simulated voyages to test cruise ship operators’ ability to mitigate COVID-19 risk, certification for ships that meet specific requirements, and a phased return to cruise ship passenger voyages in a manner that mitigates COVID-19 risk among passengers, crew members, and U.S. communities. These phases are subject to change based on public health considerations and cruise ship operators’ demonstrated ability to mitigate COVID- 19 risk. CDC will issue additional orders as needed that will be published in the Federal Register and technical instructions that will be subsequently posted on CDC’s website.

This Order additionally announces requirements for the initial phases relating to crew testing. CDC considers adequate crew safeguards as demonstrated through laboratory testing for SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, an integral part of the initial phases prior to resuming passenger operations.

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