While I am excited to see the No Sail Order lifted I also quickly realized after skimming the 40 page CDC Framework for Conditional Sail Order that lists all of requirements to resume sailing that mostly likely cruising would not begin again until January 2021. That is because there is a condition that mentions 60 days so I figured that meant if they cruise lines started all this November 1 they should be good to go January 1. Shortly after the CDC posted the information the cruise lines started announcing December cancellations and as of now looks like all of them have confirmed no sailing until after 12/31. While I am bummed about no December cruises I am happy to think that we finally have some sort of really good timeline for restarting.
A few key things I noticed:
It looks like sailings will have to be kept to 7 days or less
Testing and masks are going to be part of the requirements
Shore excursions will have strict rules
Social Distancing rules will change things like dining and entertainment onboard
The rules and procedures required by the CDC encompass everything from extensive testing of crew already onboard ships; arrangements with ports and local health authorities; testing of new crew and passengers boarding; securing (by cruise lines) of local housing for isolating any people who test positive and don’t need hospital treatment, as well as their close contacts; simulated voyages with no passengers and more.
“This framework provides a pathway to resume safe and responsible sailing," said Robert Redfield, M.D., the CDC's director. "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." He added that the CDC and the cruise industry have a shared goal to protect crew, passengers and communities, and will continue to work together to ensure that all necessary public health procedures are in place before cruise ships begin sailing with passengers.
I will be staying on top of all the news and hope that ships will be sailing come January 1!
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