It’s finally here: the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is unveiling the second phase of its conditional navigation regulations. The cruise lines now have more information on cruise extensions and yes, test cruises are on the way.

The decision comes after increasing voices were calling for the CDC to start cruises again and move to the next phase of the four-phase structure. These technical instructions concern a number of cruise lines’ installations that need to be dismantled in order to resume cruises. It remains to be seen how long this will take.

Second phase of conditional navigation instructionissued

This is a challenging time for cruise lines, who have to dig deep and take a number of measures, including daily reports of onboard incidents, vaccination schedules for crew members, trial voyages, and even testing of port voyages. Below is a short list of the technical instructions for the second step:

  • Change from weekly to daily reporting of COVID-19 cases and illnesses.
  • Conduct routine tests for all crew members based on the color status of each vessel.
  • Update of the colour coding system used to classify the status of vessels against COWID-19.
  • Reduce the time it takes for a red ship to turn green from 28 days to 14 days, based on the availability of onboard testing, routine testing protocols and daily reporting.
  • Develop planning documents for agreements to be approved by port authorities and local health departments to ensure that cruise lines have the necessary infrastructure to manage an outbreak of COPID 19 on their ships, including health and accommodation capacity to isolate infected persons and quarantine those exposed to infection.
  • Develop a plan and schedule for the vaccination of crew and port personnel.

Of the 2. April 2021, the CDC website is updated with all necessary instructions. The second phase came after the first phase, which ended on the 30th. The date of October 2021 has been announced. Since then, the CDC has remained largely silent on the situation, causing great frustration in the cruise industry and the state of Florida.

Waterways must be fast

If cruise lines like Carnival Cruise Line want to save their June sailings, they will have to work quickly and follow the new guidelines. The preparation time is about 60 days, and the task is now accelerated.

The cruise lines must be fully prepared, as they have been waiting for this day for five months. We already know that Carnival and Royal Caribbean are bringing back some crew members on their ships.

All cruise lines already have strict onboard hygiene protocols in place, and major cruise ports like PortMiami work closely with the aid companies. We also know that PortMiami is even building a special complex for this purpose.

Cruise lines must ensure that they have a solid plan in place, as the safety of passengers and crew is a top priority at all times.

CDC Finally on the move

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