CDC issues updated guidance for cruise industry return


(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. (WESH) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday issued updated guidance for the eventual return to cruises from U.S. ports.

The latest guidance from the CDC does not replace the conditional sail order issued last October but gives cruise lines a number of changes that will need to be made before test cruises begin from the U.S.

It comes about a week after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis held a roundtable discussion at Port Canaveral and pushed the CDC to allow cruise lines to return to sailing.

The governor questioned the legality of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s conditional sail order and threatened legal action if cruises are not able to resume.

Friday’s guidance requires cruise lines to establish agreements at ports where they intend to operate, implement routine testing of crew, and develop plans incorporating vaccination strategies to reduce the risk of introduction and spread of COVID-19 by crew and passengers.

This phase, the second of the conditional sail order, calls for increasing from weekly to daily the reporting frequency of COVID-19 cases and illnesses and implementing routine testing of all crew based on each ship’s color status.

The next phase of the conditional sail order will be test cruises.

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