The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has extended the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) with minor modifications, according to a statement, through Jan. 15, 2022.
After the expiration of the CSO, the CDC said it intends to transition to what it called a voluntary program, in coordination with the industry to detect, mitigate and control the spread of COVID-19 onboard cruise ships.
The CDC Director signed the Temporary Extension & Modification of the CSO on October 25, 2021; it is effective upon expiration of the current CSO on November 1, 2021.
The Temporary Extension & Modification of the CSO shall remain in effect until the earliest of
- The expiration of the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ declaration that COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency;
- The CDC Director rescinds or modifies the order based on specific public health or other considerations; or
- January 15, 2022 at 12:01 am EDT.
- After the expiration of the Temporary Extension & Modification of the CSO, CDC intends to transition to a voluntary program, in coordination with cruise ship operators and other stakeholders, to assist the cruise ship industry to detect, mitigate, and control the spread of COVID-19 onboard cruise ships.
As of July 23, 2021, the CSO and accompanying measures, such as technical instructions, are nonbinding recommendations for cruise ships arriving in, located within, or departing from a port in Florida, according to a statement from the CDC.
The CDC said in its statement that it is continuing to operate the CSO as a voluntary program for such ships that choose to follow the CSO measures voluntarily.
A number of minor changes are available to see in the updated order, announced through “Dear Colleague” communications to industry partners.
The CDC said it did not view the extension as “imposing any new burdens or obligations on cruise ship operators when compared to the previous CSO … the most significant change is to narrow the applicability of the CSO to ‘foreign-flagged’ cruise ships operating in U.S. jurisdictions hat do not routinely exercise public health jurisdiction nor maintain public health programs that conduct surveillance, inspections, investigations, and management for communicable diseases with potential for significant morbidity and mortality onboard foreign-flagged ships.”