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Celebrity Flora

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has dropped its “No Sail” order in favour of a new Framework for Conditional Sailing Order.

The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. has dropped its ‘No Sail’ order, which came into effect on 14 March 2020 and has since been extended a number of times as the coronavirus continues to spread.

A statement published on the CDC website reads: “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 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 COVID19 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.”

Rather than the blanket ban on cruise travel in the U.S. determined by the ‘No Sail’ order, the new framework will see the cruise industry working with the CDC to establish a safe and realistic return to service.

Individual cruise lines will be able to progress through various ‘phases’ with those meeting the acceptable health measures and passenger safety assurances able to progress through. This may mean some cruise lines will be able to resume services quicker than others.

The ‘phased-in’ approach will include: (1) establishment of laboratory testing of crew onboard cruise ships in U.S. waters; (2) 15 simulated voyages designed to test a cruise ship operators’ ability to mitigate COVID-19 on cruise ships; (3) a certification process; and (4) a return to passenger voyages in a manner that mitigates the risk of COVID-19 introduction, transmission, or spread among passengers and crew onboard ships and ashore to communities.

This new Conditional Sailing Order shall remain in effect until the earliest of three possible situations:

  • The expiration of the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ declaration that COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency.
  • The CDC Director rescinds or modifies the order based on specific public health or other considerations.
  • November 1, 2021.

You can find full details of the Conditional Sailing Order and the ‘phased-in’ approach on the CDC website. 

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