The CDC says cruise lines can return to sailing this summer with a vast majority of fully vaccinated passengers.
Cruise lines will be allowed to sail from U.S. ports as long as the vast majority of crew and passengers are fully vaccinated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a letter to the cruise industry yesterday. The news has sent cruise stocks soaring.
The announcement removes a few giant roadblocks for cruise lines wanting to return to U.S. waters more than a year after cruising was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In October 2020, the CDC issued a conditional-sail order (CSO) that required cruise operators to conduct test cruises and apply 60 days in advance for a certificate to begin offering passenger cruises. Now the CDC says it will review cruise line applications for simulated voyages within five days.
Per the CDC letter, cruise ships can proceed to open-water passenger sailings without test cruises as long as 98% of crew members and 95% of passengers are fully vaccinated. Instead of having to take a PCR lab test ahead of boarding, vaccinated passengers will be able to take a rapid antigen test upon embarkation…