After months of uncertainty, it appears that cruise lines will be able to again take to the water before the end of 2020.
On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an updated conditional sailing order for cruise ships that will allow cruise ships to start sailing in North America starting on Nov. 1.
The framework, which can be found in full here, states that cruise lines can now pursue “a phased resumption of cruise ship passenger operations” with “a careful approach.”
Initially, the CDC will require testing and additional safeguards for crew members, it said, along with onboard facilities in place to test future passengers. Then, the CDC is requiring all lines go ahead with simulate voyages “to test cruise ship operator’s ability to mitigate CoVID-19 risk.”
All ships will have to meet specific requirements for recertification and then, and only then, can cruise ships start a phased return to service.
“These phases are subject to change based on public health consideration and cruise ship operators’ demonstrated ability to mitigate COVID-19 risk,” the CDC said.
“CDC will issue additional orders as needed that will be published in the Federal Register and technical instructions that will be subsequently posted on the CDC’s website.”