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CDC Provides Guidance For Cruise Ships to Set Sail

Provided by Steve Rice

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released a document that outlines a path for cruise ships sailing from U.S. ports to resume business. They had been suspended since March.

The new rules will require cruise lines to build labs to test all crew members and passengers for the coronavirus. They will then be given permission to conduct simulated voyages to prove they can minimize risks of outbreaks.

Steve Rice is a travel consultant. His company, The Cruise Butler, specializes in cruises and other types of luxury travel. He said the cruise lines worked together with CDC.

"The major executives of all the cruise lines trying to get the industry back together and they’ve all put in their viewpoints of what’s gonna make people come back to cruising and what’s gonna make people safe," Rice said.

Rice estimated that it will be about a year and half before the industry recovers financially. Most cruise lines have allowed passengers during the pandemic to reschedule trips when they felt it was safe.

"A lot of these bookings that I’m making we’re basically just rebooking the same people who were booked in the past," he said.

The CDC ban on U.S. Cruise ship travel was set to end at midnight on Oct. 31. It’s still unclear when cruise ships will actually be able to set sail again from U.S. ports.

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Jerry Clayton can be reached at jerry@tpr.org or on Twitter at @jerryclayton.