CDC lifts ban on cruises, implements conditional sailing order

MIAMI (WSVN) - The Centers for Disease Control has allowed a no-sail order for cruise ships to expire and has implemented a conditional sailing order.

The CDC on Friday released a detailed series of requirements that could put cruise ships back in operation in the coming months, as long as the cruise industry can show that they can implement these changes.

Officials said the order establishes a “framework of actionable items for the cruise line industry to follow so they can resume passenger operations,” while preventing the spread of COVID-19.

“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,” says CDC Director Robert R. Redfield.

In the phased approach, cruise ship operators will be required to demonstrate testing, quarantine and isolation, and social distancing requirements for crew members. They will also have to build the laboratory capacity needed to test crew and future passengers.

Future phases will include simulated voyages with volunteers to test the cruise ship operator’s ability to mitigate COVID-19 risk, certifications for ships that meet specific requirements and an overall return to passenger voyagers in a “manner that mitigates COVID-19 risk among passengers, crew members, and communities.”

The CDC initially set the no-sail order at the onset of the pandemic back in March. The order was then extended several times.

The cruise industry has been shut down since March 13 due to several COVID-19 outbreaks on several ships.

The full order can be read below.

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