Since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new technical instructions on April 2, there has been a disappointing reaction. The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has also reacted and called the new details unduly burdensome and largely unworkable.
So far, the CDC is remaining firm on its Conditional Sailing Order framework, but calls to lift the order have increased today not just from CLIA but also in a letter from Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.
Unworkable CDC Technical Instructions
The CDC seems to be totally off track when it comes to the cruise industry and calls continue to lift the Conditional Sailing Order that was first introduced at the end of October 2020. CLIA which represents 95% of the world’s cruise lines reiterated its calls for the order to be lifted this month following its previous urging on March 24, 2021.
CLIA does respect the health measures implemented by the CDC and shares the priority to control the virus by the Biden Administration. However, it’s clear that cruise lines are not happy with the new phase 2 technical instructions released on April 2.
CLIA Said in its statement:
“However, the additional cruise industry instructions issued April 2nd by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under the Framework for Conditional Sailing (CSO) are disappointing. The new requirements are unduly burdensome, largely unworkable, and seem to reflect a zero-risk objective rather than the mitigation approach to COVID that is the basis for every other US sector of our society.”
Some will say the words from CLIA are hard with the requirements unduly burdensome and largely unworkable. Still, the cruise industry believes the instructions are outdated and reflect a zero-risk objective rather than a mitigations approach like what’s been implemented in other sectors.
CLIA also mentioned, “On the same day CDC issued new onerous requirements for the cruise industry, five months after the original order, CDC issued relaxed guidance for domestic and international travel due to vaccination progress and recognition of the improved public health environment.”
The cruise line organization is hoping that the CDC and the administration will see ample evidence supporting the lifting of the order. The cruise industry has already proved that cruising can occur safely.
Cruises have been running in Europe since last summer, cruise ships have been sailing safely out of Singapore and even the UK is opening up domestic cruising from May 17, 2021.
The hope is for cruising to be able to restart by July 4th. If cruise lines really want this, they are going to have to push as time is running out to get ships prepared to save any summer cruises from the U.S.
Could the CDC Lift the Order?
Calls are growing but will the CDC answer? From what we’ve seen so far, the CDC is no doubt focused on the protection of the country from the virus but when it comes to the cruise industry, it doesn’t seem to understand the impact.
Worth Reading: No Test Sailings Yet and No Clear Dates from CDC
There has been a roundtable discussion between cruise line executives and Florida Gov. DeSantis, a letter from Miami-Dade Mayor, and more to get cruising moving again.
The CDC has remained firm on its order and has not hinted that it will be lifted. In fact, the CDC recently reaffirmed that the order is in place until November 1, 2021, and has pushed out a new graphic of the four-phased framework.
The framework is still in its early stages and if things stay the same there won’t be cruises out of the United States any time soon.
The situation remains very fluid and Cruise Hive will keep readers updated on any new developments.