CDC to Let Conditional Sail Order Expire, Praises Cruise Industry’s COVID-19 Response
Centers for Disease Control director Dr. Rochelle Walensky revealed that the CDC will allow their Conditional Sail Order to expire on Saturday, according to Travel Weekly‘s Johanna Jainchill.
Jainchill reported that the announcement came during a Senate hearing, where Dr. Walensky praised the cruise industry’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the industry on the whole “stepped up” and exceeded the CDC guidelines, stating:
The fact that the industry has stepped up and is now interested in doing and exceeding the compliance with the [CSO] without the order even necessarily needing to be in place is a real testimony to how well that has worked and how we work collaboratively with the industry.
While the outlook seems positive, there were also words of caution as the Omicron variant continues to ravage the United States. Dr. Walensky added that there had been a 30-fold increase in COVID-19 cases on cruise ships in the prior two weeks, but that the cruise lines were likely to continue following the Conditional Sail Order voluntarily.
Last month, the CDC warned that people should avoid cruising, regardless of their vaccination status. Disney Cruise Line requires all guests to be fully vaccinated, with at least two doses, with those ineligible for a vaccine (mainly guests under the age of five) to test negative for the virus no more than five days before boarding.