In recent months, the CDC has taken a more aggressive approach to controlling the spread of Zika. While this is great news for public health and tourism, it’s causing travel disruption in affected areas. What will come next?
The “cdc no sail order update 2021” is a change in the CDC’s Conditional Sailing Order that is set to be put into effect on June 1, 2021.
The beginning of COVID’s demise looks to be approaching. Despite numerous ships being refused at ports and a growing number of cruise cancellations globally, the future of cruising looks better, according to several experts who believe Omicron might be the final large wave of illnesses.
The Conditional Sail Order will be one of the measures that will no longer be required. From January 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will make the measure voluntary rather than required. Cruise lines will have the option of following the CDC’s recommendations or developing their own policies and procedures.
The Conditional Sailing Order is set to expire on January 15, 2019.
The Conditional Sail Order will be converted to a voluntary program by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday, January 15. It puts a stop to an order that has divided opinion for almost a year.
During the early months of 2021, the order was heavily criticized due to its discrepancies. The industry was only able to start functioning in the United States once the CDC presented explicit measures in May and June of 2021.
Rob Hainer / Shutterstock.com / Rob Hainer / Shutterstock.com / Rob Hainer / Shutterstock.
Testing before sailing, the vaccination requirement, mask-wearing, social distancing measures, quarantine, and measures for medical debarkation of passengers and crew are only a few of the procedures contained in the CSO.
Governor DeSantis of Florida successfully sued the CDC over the vaccination requirement. As a consequence, from July of last year, the CSO has been an optional requirement for cruise ships.
“As of July 23, 2021, the CSO and related actions, such as technical instructions, are nonbinding recommendations for cruise ships coming in, located inside, or leaving from a port in Florida,” the CDC notes on its website. The CSO is still operated by the CDC as a voluntary program for ships that desire to follow the CSO protocols.”
So, now that the CSO is about to expire, what will happen? Probably not much. The great majority of cruise ships traveling in the United States have been based in Florida and consequently operate under the CSO willingly.
Nonetheless, the CDC’s decision to withdraw is more proof that the cruise industry has set the bar for safe travel in the COVID age.
COVID-19 Mitigation is a Priority for the Cruise Industry
The cruise industry in the United States has been adamant in its attempts to keep COVID-19 away from its ships since June of last year. This has been accomplished by enforcing rigorous guidelines throughout the whole cruise experience.
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is a non-profit (CLIA)
Cruise industry representative ‘The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is a non-profit (CLIA)’ believes the cruise industry maintains some of the highest levels of COVID-19 mitigation found in any industry:
“Cruise is the only segment of travel and tourism that requires extremely high levels of vaccination (approaching 100% compared to only 63 percent on land in the United States) and 100% testing of every individual (over 20 times the rate in the United States) prior to embarkation for both passengers and crew.”
“When cases are discovered as a consequence of the high frequency of testing aboard, cruise ship policies assist in maximizing onboard containment with quick response measures meant to protect all other passengers and crew members, as well as the communities visited by the ships.” Furthermore, cruise is the only industry that regularly monitors, gathers, and reports case information to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”
Will Measures on Cruise Ships Come to an End?
Despite a rough start for the cruise industry with the CDC early last year, vital resources and industry standards have been built during the preceding six months, keeping cruise ships at sea and instilling trust in the sector from the CDC. The industry is unlikely to abandon such resources and standards now that the CSO has ended. CLIA certifies the following:
“The science and the philosophy of putting people first will continue to lead CLIA ocean-going cruise line members, with proven procedures that are changed as situations warrant to safeguard the health of cruise passengers, crewmembers, and destinations.”
Is the Cruise Ship Color Chart from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still useful?
On the CDC’s color chart, ships that do not voluntarily follow the standards will be designated with a grey hue. This chart, however, has been insufficient in offering insight into situations aboard ships.
Hearing in the Senate
“The industry has stepped up and is now interested in surpassing the compliance with the Sail Order without the order necessarily having to be in existence,” says the CDC. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, said, “We (the CDC) will continue to monitor, perform supervision and watch, and provide all technical help and support in every manner.”
Also read: CDC Director Applauds Cruise Lines After Conditional Sail Order
Many people still want the cruise sector to be relegated to the background. Even the CDC now acknowledges that cruise ships are a very safe location to visit.
The government organization now seems to recognize that instances or outbreaks of COVID-19 aboard cruise ships will benefit no one in the sector, thus it is in the cruise industry’s best interest to follow the processes and guidelines in place.
Those wishing to see an end to testing, vaccination requirements, and mask regulations will have to wait a little longer.
“So my hope is this truly is the beginning of the end of this virus,” Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley said. “What we are seeing is its evolving to quick spread and less destructive like the common cold if vaccinated.” If this is the true, we should expect cruising to resume sooner rather than later.
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The “cdc cruise ship color status” is a command-line tool that allows users to see the current status of CDC’s Conditional Sailing Order. The order will end in May 2018, so you should use this tool before then.
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