Green Light Issued for Cruise Ships
The Miami Herald reported on July 7, 2021, a federal judge denied a request from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to keep its COVID-19 safety regulations for Florida cruises in effect. The CDC argues that cruise ships could exacerbate the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S without its regulations.
The judge stated the CDC’s argument ignores state, and local oversight and the improvements cruise companies have made to their operations since COVID-19 outbreaks began in early 2020.
On April 2, 2021, the CDC had issued the next phase of technical guidance under the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order requiring cruise lines to establish agreements at ports where they intend to operate, implement routine testing of the crew, and develop plans incorporating vaccination strategies to reduce the risk of introduction and spread of COVID-19 by crew and passengers.
The CDC lowered its Travel Alert to Level 3 status on June 16, 2021, and specified the notice is for travelers who are not fully vaccinated.
The CDC says, ‘COVID-19 vaccines play a critical role in the safe resumption of passenger operations. As more people are fully vaccinated, and more drug therapeutics are available, the phased approach allowed CDC to incorporate these advancements into planning for safe resumption of cruise ship travel.’
The states of Florida and Texas have endorsed relaunching the cruise ship industry this summer.