The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated measurements that apply to cruises from ports in the United States, but they maintained the recommendation to the population not to embark for pleasure.
This is a new phase of the Framework of the Conditional Navigation Order in force since October 30, according to a statement from the CDC, a government entity that has received numerous requests to loosen the restrictions imposed on the cruise industry by the pandemic, especially from Florida.
Among the measures of the new phase opened by the CDC is the need to report daily the incidence of COVID-19 on board (previously it was weekly) and some changes in the color code to classify ships according to that incidence and in the frequency of crew tests.
Along with the instructions for cruise companies to adapt to the new phase, the CDC reiterated its recommendations to the public in relation to maritime or river tourism trips.
“Avoid traveling on cruise ships, including river ones, anywhere in the world, because the possibility of contracting COVID-19 in them is higher and the virus seems to spread more easily between people in closed rooms on board those boats,” said the CDC in a statement.
The message emphasizes that this recommendation is “especially important” for people at increased risk for serious diseases.
People who have already received both doses, or the single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, can now travel domestically and internationally without testing or quarantine within two weeks of inoculation.
For people who choose not to heed their recommendation, the CDC published a series of measures “to protect others when they return” from the trip.
The first is to get tested for COVID-19 between 3 and 5 days after the trip and stay home for seven days, even if the test is negative. If the test result is positive, the person should isolate himself and if the test is not done, stay home for at least ten days.
In all cases, it is necessary to avoid being near people with the greatest risk for 14 days and to follow the recommendations and norms of the state and municipal health authorities.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky pleaded with Americans to continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in an effort to prevent a fourth wave of cases.
In addition, the CDC said it is working with the cruise industry and port partners “to resume shipping when it is safe to do so, following the phased approach.”
Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida, a state with two of the largest cruise ports in the world, Port Miami and Port Everglades, has even threatened to sue the CDC if they do not allow cruise ships from the United States soon, which has been paralyzed for more one year by decision of the Atlanta-based body.
In its most recent report, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which represents 95% of ocean cruise companies, calls COVID-19 losses “devastating”.
Between March and September 2020, there were global losses of $ 77 billion, $ 23 billion in salaries and 518,000 jobs due to the pause of shipping companies, according to CLIA.
Apart from the CDC order, several cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, based in Miami, announced that they will resume their trips this summer from ports in other countries such as the Bahamas and Bermuda, with restrictions and measures such as that all passengers older than 18 years old must be vaccinated before boarding.
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