Tuesday, 16th July 2024

CDC make changes to COVID-19 guidelines for cruise ships travelling in US Waters

By modifying a few protocols, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) altered its rules for cruise ships travelling in US waters.

Wednesday, 23rd March 2022

Cruise Ships

By modifying a few protocols, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) altered its rules for cruise ships travelling in US waters. The CDC's Covid-19 Program for Cruise Ships applies to all cruise lines operating in the United States, including Royal Caribbean. This is a set of rules that govern the use of Covid-19 procedures onboard.

The CDC has reversed a number of Covid-19 guidelines related to cruise ship operations in recent weeks, including decreasing the warning level for cruise ships.

Three guidelines were altered by the CDC to make things easier for cruise operators.

Interactive experiences such as galley tours and cooking workshops may be reinstated by cruise ship operators.

Interactive cooking, culinary workshops and demonstrations, mixology/blending classes, and galley and other "behind the scenes" tours were previously prohibited onboard.

Food service standards for cruise ships operating under the CDC's classification of highly immunised ships (which Royal Caribbean does) will now be recommended rather than obligations as a result of the change.

This allows for the resumption of activities including sushi making workshops, behind-the-scenes tours, and cupcake making lessons.

If a close contact is disembarking the ship within 36 hours, the cruise operator may allow the traveller to stay in the original accommodation if he or she will be the only one in that cabin.

Previously, they would have been relocated to a quarantined portion of the ship with dedicated accommodations for anyone with Covid-19, whether confirmed or suspected.

The CDC also made changes to the conditions cruise lines must meet with the ports from where their ships depart.

The CDC changed port agreements, abolishing ship and capacity restrictions at ports.

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) published a statement in response to the new restrictions, describing them as "positive reforms."

"Compared to nearly any other commercial setting, CLIA cruise line members continue to lead the way in unsurpassed health and safety procedures."

"The changes released today recognise the cruise lines' success in creating a setting that delivers one of the highest levels of COVID-19 mitigation and reflect the public health landscape's advancements."

"The health and safety of everyone onboard, as well as the communities we visit, will continue to be a top priority for CLIA member cruise companies."