We have breaking news for travelers hoping to return to cruising. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has just made a huge splash.
The announcement has just been made that U.S. cruising no longer has a ban.
Just today, a detailed series of new requirements has been released that could put ships back in operation very soon.
A no-sail order has been in place for many months here in the United States. This meant that no cruise ships could sail with passengers to or from a U.S. port since March 13, 2020 due to COVID-19.
The CDC has allowed the no-sail order to expire and in its place a new conditional sail order has been implemented.
This doesn’t mean business as usual. But, it does mean that cruise companies will have to prove that COVID-19 protocols are working with specific testing requirements and trial runs before passengers can return to the ships.
Most cruise companies including Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Group, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, MSC Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line and Virgin Voyages, have canceled all cruises leaving from U.S. ports until at least Dec. 1 with many canceling through the end of 2020.
Cruise companies have been working for months to come up with new guidelines and protocols to return guests safely to the seas. These include limiting high touch experiences and modifiying things such as evacuation and safety drills to reduce the amount of people crammed in a single space.
It is likely that testing for all passengers and crew members will be implemented but those details have yet to be hashed out.
Much of this will also hinge on the upcoming election. The results of the election will likely alter much of the way cruise lines work and when and how they will set sail with passengers once again.
The CDC still has its Level 3 travel notice for cruise ships in place, which warns against anyone taking a cruise because of the high risk of COVID-19 infection on ships. That has not been eliminated. It will likely be a sail at your own risk type of situation with heavy sanitation and health and safety protocols in place that are required for ALL passengers with no exceptions.
Stay tuned for more on this breaking story as information becomes available.