The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has given cruises the go-ahead to set sail in the U.S. after months of uncertainty — but it could still be months before passengers are allowed on board.
On Friday, the health organization released an updated conditional sailing order lifting their no-sail ban and replacing it with a list of new health protocols and a “framework of actionable items” for cruises to follow beginning Nov. 1.
The order — which applies to ships with the capacity to carry at least 250 passengers and travel in U.S. waters — details how cruise lines should take a “phased approach for the safe and responsible resumption of passenger cruises,” making it clear that no passengers will be allowed to sail at this time.
“This framework provides a pathway to resume safe and responsible sailing. It will mitigate the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks on ships and prevent passengers and crew from seeding outbreaks at ports and in the communities where they live,” CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D said in a press release. “CDC and the cruise industry have a shared goal to protect crew, passengers, and communities and will continue to work together to ensure that all necessary public health procedures are in place before cruise ships begin sailing with passengers.”