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We have the latest CDC cruise update and analysis. By now, you have heard that the CDC sent the major cruise lines a letter clarifying certain clauses of the CDC’s cruise technical instructions that were issued in early April. Does this really mean cruising can resume in July from the U.S? It’s not necessarily the green light to cruise. We take a detailed look at what this letter really means for the restart to cruising with our latest CDC cruise news.
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0:00 Introduction to CDC Cruise Update
0:50 The Conditional Sailing Order is Still In Effect
5:07 Additional CDC Cruise Guidelines
5:05 Cruise Ship Lead Time to Meet CDC Cruise Guidelines
8:15 Getting Crew Back Onboard Cruise Ships
—–LATEST CDC CRUISE UPDATE ——
In this CDC cruise news update, we take a look at what the letter sent to the cruise lines actually entails. Many have assumed that the letter gives cruise lines the green light to start cruising in July, but that is not actually true. The letter does provide additional clarification to the current CDC cruise guidelines. However, the letter does not eliminate the Conditional Sailing Order.
So, all of the steps outlined by the CDC that the cruise lines claimed a few weeks ago were too burdensome still exist to some degree. Though now, the letter does allow the cruise lines to proceed through some phases more quickly. Also, it does make it easier for cruise lines to meet some of the requirements.
—–CDC CRUISE NEWS——
The letter offered two major provisions that will allow cruise ships to move more swiftly towards a return to cruising. The first clarification allows cruise lines to bypass the test cruise requirement, if they can attest that 98% of crew and 95% of passengers are vaccinated. Now, this is huge cruise news! Yet, this does eliminate some cruisers, more specifically kids. So, if cruise lines decide not to go the required vaccination route, they will still need to conduct simulated voyages. The CDC has committed to reviewing these applications on an expedited timeline of 5 days vs. 60 days.
Second, the clarification to the CDC Cruise Guidelines also allows the cruise lines to enter in multi-port agreements. This will make it easier for cruise lines to get support and medical supplies if passengers become ill from COVID.
——CDC CRUISE GUIDELINES——
Still, there are several obstacles that the cruise lines will need to overcome to actually begin cruising in July. They will still need to meet all the other additional requirements of the CDC Cruise Guidelines. Getting the agreements in place and making structural changes and other enhancements to ships will take time.
Then, there is the issue of actually getting the ships staffed and ready to operate. All of the cruise lines sailing outside of the U.S. this summer made announcements of their return to cruising approximately 3 months before sailing. In the past, the major cruise lines have indicated it takes about 60-90 days to get a ship up and running. Given it is already May, we are at the lower end of that timeline for a July restart.
Then, there are crew considerations. Crew need to be vaccinated, travel to the ships, quarantine, and begin training. While the U.S. is doing well with its vaccination program, many countries are still in the midst of COVID outbreaks. Some cruise lines have already begun turning away crew from some countries as a result. This could make staffing cruise ships more difficult and delay the return to cruising here in the U.S.
Of course, we will keep you updated with the latest cruise news as it pertains to the CDC and cruising in the United States.
——READ MORE ABOUT CDC CRUISE UPDATES——
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