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When can you go on a cruise again?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires cruise lines to establish agreements at ports where they intend to operate, implement routine testing of crew, and develop plans incorporating vaccination strategies to reduce the risk of introduction and spread of COVID-19

  • Increasing from weekly to daily the reporting frequency of COVID-19 cases and illnesses
  • Implementing routine testing of all crew based on each ship’s color status
  • Decreasing the time needed for a “red” ship to become “green” from 28 to 14 days

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued the next phase of technical guidance under the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) requiring cruise lines to establish agreements at ports where they intend to operate, implement routine testing of crew, and develop plans incorporating vaccination strategies to reduce the risk of introduction and spread of COVID-19 by crew and passengers.

This phase, the second of the CSO issued in October 2020, provides technical instructions on:

  • Increasing from weekly to daily the reporting frequency of COVID-19 cases and illnesses.
  • Implementing routine testing of all crew based on each ship’s color status.
  • Updating the color-coding system used to classify ships’ status with respect to COVID-19.
  • Decreasing the time needed for a “red” ship to become “green” from 28 to 14 days based on the availability of onboard testing, routine screening testing protocols, and daily reporting.
  • Creating planning materials for agreements that port authorities and local health authorities must approve to ensure cruise lines have the necessary infrastructure in place to manage an outbreak of COVID-19 on their ships to include healthcare capacity and housing to isolate infected people and quarantine those who are exposed.
  • Establishing a plan and timeline for vaccination of crew and port personnel. 

The next phase of the CSO will include simulated (trial) voyages that will allow crew and port personnel to practice new COVID-19 operational procedures with volunteers before sailing with passengers.

CDC is committed to working with the cruise industry and seaport partners to resume cruising when it is safe to do so, following the phased approach outlined in the CSO.