Late last month, the Centers for Disease Control lifted its sailing ban on cruise ships in U.S. waters and replaced it with a ‘conditional’ sailing order in effect for at least another year.
Among a long list of new requirements: Operators will need to test all crew members on a weekly basis, and install laboratory facilities to conduct COVID-19 testing. Ships will also undergo mock trips to measure vessels’ ability to mitigate infection risk.
The world’s largest cruise industry trade group responded to the new requirements by setting early 2021 as its new goal for returning cruise ships with passengers to U.S. waters and using the time now to prepare. Travel agents say customer demand is high.