CDC Lifts No-Sail Ban While Cruise Companies Develop Plan To Protect Those Aboard
November 02, 2020
The Miami Herald released an article titled, "CDC Lifts Cruise Ban, Says Companies Can Restart Once They Prove COVID-19 Protocols Work"
on Friday, October 10th, 2020. What does this mean for South Florida's tourism industry?
Well, the no-sail order was lifted on October 31st and will allow the major cruise companies such as Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Group, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, MSC Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, and Virgin Voyages to begin working with the CDC to prepare their three-phase launch plan. These companies have to prove to the CDC that they're going above and beyond their guidelines for staff and passengers with increased protective measures, COVID-19 testing, and trial runs to simulate their efforts. They must enter written agreements with local medical facilities where they travel so they can treat affected passengers and staff. The Royal Caribbean group released a statement claiming they are determined to meet the guidelines and protocols:
"While we are eager to welcome our guests back on board, we have a lot to do between now and then, and we're committed to taking the time to do things right," the company said in a statement. "This includes training our crew in new health and safety protocols and conducting a number of trial sailings to stress-test those protocols in real-world conditions."
The CDC says that cruise lines must demonstrate that they can protect their crew from COVID-19, simulate cruises with volunteer passengers with rigorous CDC protocols in place, and finally obtain a "Conditional Sailing Certification" from the CDC. The cruise lines will test everyone aboard the ships much more frequently, especially when departing ports and during the reboarding process.