Cruise Travel with Volunteer Passengers in 2021
The United States Government approves cruise trips with volunteer passengers
The United States authorized the cruise industry on Tuesday to carry out simulated trips with volunteer passengers as a way to speed up a possible reactivation of this industry by mid-July from the country’s ports.
According to health authorities, if shipping companies can guarantee that the vast majority of crew members (98%) and passengers (95%) are vaccinated, they may be able to restart by that date, after a paralysis of more one year.
CDC Updates Regulations
For now, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated the Conditions for Navigation Ordinance (CSO), issued by the federal entity last October, and which provides technical instructions for making the trips. simulated.
Among the instructions are procedures to help cruise operators mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19, according to a CDC statement. Requirements and recommendations on prevention measures, surveillance of covid-19 on board, laboratory tests, infection prevention and control, use of masks, social distancing, interaction with passengers, as well as boarding experiences and procedures are included. disembarkation.
Updated CDC Guide
With the issuance of this updated guide, cruise operators now have all the necessary requirements and recommendations to initiate simulated voyages before resuming restricted passenger voyages, the CDC noted.
In addition, this new version includes the request for the navigation certificate, conditional on the CSO, which is the final step before starting the trips with passengers.
CDC will update documents online to incorporate quarantine changes and lessons learned from simulated trips, among other things to follow.
Trips in July 2021
The CDC communicated last Thursday to the shipping companies in a letter that will allow them to ignore the test trip for those ships that have mostly vaccinated the crew and passengers.
The shipping industry was therefore confident in a possible resumption in July of cruises from US ports, suspended since March 2020 due to covid-19, after the health authorities of this country announced a relaxation of the framework to navigate again.
Since last April 12, the CDC and “senior executives of other relevant federal agencies” have participated in meetings twice a week with representatives of various cruise lines, the statement said.
The goals of these meetings, he adds, have been to engage in dialogue and exchange information on the impact of vaccines and other scientific advances since the CSO was issued.
Royal Caribbean Cruises
At least two ships of the Royal Caribbean shipping company have made stops in Miami to vaccinate members of their crew, the company announced on Tuesday. “It is going to be extremely important that our crew is vaccinated,” Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, admitted in a Facebook post.
Last March the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which represents 95% of companies with ocean cruises, urged the CDC to lift the restriction and allow planning for a gradual resumption of cruise operations from next July.
CLIA noted that July is “in line” with US President Joe Biden’s forecast of when the United States will be “closer to normal. In early April, the CDC updated the measures that govern the pandemic for cruises from US ports, but maintained the recommendation to the population not to embark for pleasure.
According to CLIA, between March and September 2020 these companies had global losses of 77,000 million, 23,000 million dollars in salaries and 518,000 jobs. In Miami-Dade County alone, cruise activity produces about $ 7 billion a year and directly and indirectly employs about 40,000 people, as well as supporting other sectors of the economy.