When the Centers For Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) dropped its No Sail Order and issued a framework for resuming safe and responsible cruise ship passenger operations in late October, cruise lines, cruise fans and everyone else involved in the industry gave virtual cries of joy. However, the path to starting cruises again isn’t that simple.
Cruise lines will have to jump through a plethora of hoops to meet the CDC’s requirements. They’ll have to pass four phases before they can resume passenger operations:
- establish testing capabilities for both crew and passengers (for both onshore and onboard)
- conduct “simulation” cruises, using volunteer passengers (this will prove the cruise line’s ability to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission onboard)
- complete a certification process
- start operating passenger cruises again, albeit with multiple stipulations in place
Once all of those are in place, cruise lines will be able to sail with passengers on board. However, it will need to be under the following circumstances:
- The cruise lines must inform all prospective passengers of cruising risks during COVID-19 (remember when WDW did this?? I’m sure it’ll be the same sort of thing).
- The cruises cannot be more than seven days long.
- Cruise lines must test all crew and passengers for COVID-19 on the day of embarkation and on the day of disembarkation. Results must be available before anyone can board or depart the cruise.
- Any crew or passenger who reports symptoms of COVID-19 must immediately take a rapid result COVID test provided by the ship. Those who have been in close contact with those who have symptoms must also be tested.
- Cruise lines must report all test results to the CDC.
- Face masks and social distancing must be mandated on ships.
So yeah, it’s a lot. Definitely not as if they’re going to be sailing again next week – but at least there’s a goal and a light at the end of the COVID tunnel.
Feature Photo: blmiers2/flickr
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary