After almost eight months, the CDC has lifted the No-Sail Order that has restricted all cruise travel to and from the United States, allowing the industry to restart operations on November 1st.
The order, originally issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on March 14th and extended since then, was overwritten in a Friday filing released by the agency. The filing is called a "framework for conditional sailing" and outlines the testing process that the cruise lines must go through to resume operations safely.
The first phase calls for testing and safeguards for crew members, followed by "simulated voyages" to ensure that cruise lines can mitigate the risk of COVID-19. Following that, the agency will allow a "phased return" to cruise passenger voyages." The framework provides a pathway to resume safe and responsible for sailing. 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," CDC Director Robert R. Redfield said."CDC and the cruise industry have a shared goal to protect crew, passengers, and communities. They will continue to work together to ensure that all necessary public health procedures are in place before cruise ships begin sailing with passengers."
After November 1st, 2021, the new guidance will be in effect for cruises for ports coming to and leaving the U.S.