U.S. Cruises May Be Able to Resume This Summer, CDC Says
Cruising may be able to restart in the United States this July, the CDC says.
The news comes as the cruise line industry -- which has not sailed from American waters since last March -- has been pleading with the federal government to resume cruising in 2021. The cruise industry has been working to develop safety plans and they've said the CDC has not listened.
The USA Today is now reporting that as of late Wednesday evening, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention let cruise lines know that they may be able to begin sailing from the United States as early as mid-July if they comply with their guidance to mitigate COVID-19.
"We acknowledge that cruising will never be a zero-risk activity and that the goal of the CSO’s phased approach is to resume passenger operations in a way that mitigates the risk of COVID-19 transmission onboard cruise ships and across port communities," a CDC representative said in Wednesday's letter (which was published via the USA Today).
Based on the guidance issued by the CDC earlier this spring, 95% of the passengers aboard a ship will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. They also provided additional guidance for how ships would handle a positive COVID-19 aboard their ships.
Royal Caribbean's chairman and CEO, Michael Bayley, says he is pleased with the news. He issued a statement early Thursday saying that he's hopeful this may be a path to sailing again.