US extends Covid-19 rules for cruise lines

US extends Covid-19 rules for cruise lines

CDC extends Framework Conditional Sailing Order until January 15, 2022

The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has temporarily extended the Framework Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) for cruise operators until January 15, 2022.

The order was extended by three months from the expiration date of November 1 due to concerns about the spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant.

The CSO was put in place last October to replace the Covid-19 cruising ban and included a set of rules that cruise operators had to follow to sail out of U.S ports during the pandemic, including ensuring that 95 per cent of passengers were fully vaccinated, enforced testing and safeguards for crew members.

After January 15, the order will “transition to a voluntary program”.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said in a statement that the changes to the CSO “show that the Biden Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognise the cruise industry’s successful resumption of operations. We look forward to demonstrating the industry’s continued leadership in this final phase of the CSO, and to carrying out a smooth transition when the Order comes to an end on 15 January 2022”.

CLIA added: “Cruise industry protocols are unique in their approach to monitor, detect, and respond to potential cases of COVID-19. As a result, CLIA-member ocean-going cruise ships are sailing today with some of the highest levels of COVID-19 mitigation of any industry.”

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