CDC further relaxes cruise ship Covid-19 protocols


On Friday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its requirements for cruise ships sailing in US waters by relaxing a few protocols.

All cruise lines operating in the United States, including Royal Caribbean, are operating under the CDC’s Covid-19 program for cruise ships. These are a series of regulations that govern Covid-19 protocols on board.

In recent weeks, the CDC has rolled back numerous Covid-19 protocols surrounding cruise ship operations, including twice lowering the warning level for cruise ship travel.

The CDC has changed three rules that make things easier for cruise lines.

Interactive experiences

Cruise ship operators can resume interactive experiences such as kitchen tours and cooking classes.

Until now, these onboard activities were prohibited, such as interactive cooking, cooking workshops and demonstrations, mixology/mixing lessons, kitchens and other “behind the scenes” tours.

With the change, the catering service requirements for cruise ships operating under the CDC’s highly immunized ship classification (which Royal Caribbean does), become recommendations instead of requirements.

This paves the way for the resumption of activities such as sushi-making classes, behind-the-scenes tours and cupcake-making classes.

Quarantine in own cabin

If a traveler identified as a close contact disembarks the ship within 36 hours, the cruise line may allow the traveler to remain in the original cabin if they will be the only person in that cabin.

Previously they would have been moved to a quarantine area of ​​the ship with special cabins for someone confirmed or suspected of having Covid-19.

Port agreements

The CDC has also revised the requirements that cruise lines must have with the ports from which their ships depart.

Specifically, the CDC amended port agreements, removing vessel and capacity limits at ports.

Cruise industry reaction

Following the rule changes, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) released a statement calling the revisions “welcome changes.”

“CLIA cruise line members continue to lead the way in health and safety measures unmatched by virtually any other business setting.”

“The updates announced today recognize the effectiveness of cruise lines in their ability to create an environment that provides one of the highest levels of COVID-19 mitigation and reflects improvements in the health landscape. public.”

“CLIA member cruise lines will continue to operate in a way that prioritizes the health and safety of everyone on board, as well as the communities we visit.”

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