The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) saw its Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) expire on Jan. 15, and has promised details are forthcoming on its replacement program.
“CDC sent information about this voluntary program to the cruise industry and are anticipating cruise ship operators to choose to participate or not in the coming week. Additional details are scheduled to be released this week,” the agency said in a statement sent to media on Tuesday morning.
The agency said it is transitioning to a COVID-19 risk mitigation program for foreign-flagged cruise ships operating in U.S. waters.
The program includes recommendations and guidance for cruise ships to continue to operate in a way that provides a safer and healthier environment for crew, passengers, and communities.
“Cruise ships operating in U.S. waters choosing to participate in the program agree to follow all recommendations and guidance issued by CDC as part of this program,” the CDC stated. “These recommendations are aimed at reducing the introduction and spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Maritime Unit will work closely with cruise ships choosing to participate in the program and continue to monitor COVID-19 preventive measures and cases onboard these cruise ships through daily enhanced data collection and inspections.”
“Cruise ships operating in U.S. waters and sailing on international itineraries choosing not to participate in the program will be designated as “gray” on the Cruise Ship Color Status webpage. Cruise ships sailing only in U.S. waters and choosing not to participate will not be listed. The “gray” designation (or not being listed) means that CDC has not reviewed or confirmed the cruise ship operator’s health and safety protocols.”