CDC implements strict health protocols for cruise ship voyages
As the CDC implements new health protocols for the cruise ship industry, financial hardships haunt them as well; Phil Keating reports.
All aboard – Royal Caribbean is now cleared for test cruises.
The cruise company is the first to get clearance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct mock cruises with volunteer passengers beginning in June more than a year after an industry-wide shut down during the pandemic. It positions them closer to resuming for business.
Passengers ages 16 and up must be fully vaccinated with all COVID-19 vaccine doses administered at least 14 days before sailing onboard Royal Caribbean.
Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas ship, based in Miami, will start up the test cruises on June 20, the first time a cruise ship has set sail out of the U.S. since the pandemic hit last March.
Passengers ages 16 and up must be fully vaccinated with all COVID-19 vaccine doses administered at least 14 days before sailing onboard Royal Caribbean. And all U.S. travelers age 12 must be fully vaccinated to travel beginning Aug. 1, according to the company’s Healthy Sail Panel.
Cruise operators must adhere to the CDC’s Condition Sailing Order, which requires passengers on board the simulated cruises to agree to a health screening to check of symptoms of COVID-19 and show proof that they are not at risk for contracting a severe illness if they are exposed to COVID-19. Participants must also agree to be tested for the virus between 3 to 5 days after the cruise.
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The CDC guidance was put in place in October replacing its no-sail ban with new health and safety protocols cruise operators must follow to ensure passenger and crew member safety onboard ships to resume voyages and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
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