Each year, thousands of people travel to exotic ports of call where they are exposed to different types of exotic and emerging diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a fairly long list of travel tips that they recommend for the public. Two of the very first lines of advice are getting vaccinated and washing hands. However, the most recent information comes from the CDC recommending all travelers use insect repellents. There are several different brands of insect repellents available on the market, but it is important to read the instructions.
After years of study, the Center for Disease Control has released its new set of rules for going on a cruise. Following the release of the new rules, CDC spokesperson Carl Lewis stated “Since we are recommending that all ships give passengers the option of being vaccinated against the norovirus (the cruise line equivalent of food poisoning), we feel it is important to put out as many guidelines as possible so that passengers can continue to have a safe and enjoyable cruise.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published additional technical guidance on resuming cruises under the conditional travel ban. Much of the detail was devoted to simulated travel and volunteer passengers.
While the cruise industry and the CDC are working together to resume cruises by mid-July, the agency has now placed Phases 2B and 3 under a conditional boating ban. It is a continuation of Phase 2A, which started on April 2, but was then slightly modified following the response of cruise lines.
The new phases focus on flight modeling and voluntary passenger details. It also confirms that there are two paths to resumption of operations, as the CR has previously stated that cruises can resume without testing when 98% of crew and 95% of passengers are fully vaccinated.
The new instructions therefore include:
- Authorisation and requirements for the operation of a simulated (test) flight in preparation for restricted passenger flights.
- Guidelines for CDC inspections of simulated and restricted passenger travel.
- Operational procedures to help cruise ship operators mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spread, including regulations and recommendations for preventive measures, COVID-19 onboard monitoring, laboratory testing, infection prevention and control, use of face masks, social distancing, interactive experiences for passengers, and embarkation and disembarkation procedures
CDC also indicated that the fourth step would be to obtain a conditional COVID-19 certificate and that no additional documents would be issued for this purpose. Instead, detailed information is updated online based on experience from simulations.
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The CDC has finally opened up to the cruise industry, and in a recent statement the agency said it remains willing to work with cruise lines, ports and partners to resume cruises by mid-summer.
It was also confirmed that the CDC is investigating the case from the 12th. April 2021, along with senior officials from other federal agencies, will meet twice a week with representatives from various cruise lines. The talks have established a constructive dialogue and given cruise lines the opportunity to exchange information on the new security measures introduced since the introduction of the conditional ban on sailing at the end of October 2020.
It’s worth a read: Is time running out for the resumption of cruises to the United States this summer?
One of the biggest frustrations of cruise lines is that the CDC does not take into account the new developments they have made in terms of passenger and crew safety. Today, things have changed and things are moving forward. However, the CDC recommends that all passengers and crew members be fully vaccinated so they can safely resume work.
The CDC also stated that it recognizes that the risk of cruises cannot be zero and that there will always be some risk, especially with the new variants. Technical advice will be further developed as the situation remains very volatile.
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