CLIA Asks the CDC to Lift the Conditional Sail Order to Allow Phased Restarting by July 1st

Today, in the following press release issued by CLIA, the organization called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to lift the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) and allow for the planning of a phased resumption of cruise operations from U.S. ports by the beginning of July. The early July timeframe is in line with President Biden’s forecast for when the United States will be “closer to normal.” CLIA represents 95% of global ocean-going cruise capacity of which Disney Cruise Line is a member cruise line.

“Over the past eight months, a highly-controlled resumption of cruising has continued in Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific—with nearly 400,000 passengers sailing to date in more than 10 major cruise markets. These voyages were successfully completed with industry-leading protocols that have effectively mitigated the spread of COVID-19. Additional sailings are planned in the Mediterranean and Caribbean later this spring and summer,” said Kelly Craighead, CLIA’s President and CEO.

According to the trade association, the very small fraction of reported COVID cases (fewer than 50 based on public reports) is dramatically lower than the rate on land or in any other transportation mode. “This is a testament to the industry’s unparalleled expertise, gained over more than half a century, in coordinating movements of guests and crew, efficiently organizing complex embarkations and excursions, and designing vessels that are more technologically advanced and operationally agile than any other mode of transportation,” said Craighead.

“The cruise industry has adopted a high bar for resumption around the world with a multi-layered set of policies that is intended to be revised as conditions change. Our Members continue to follow this multi-layered approach to enhancing health and safety that has proven effective, making cruising one of the best and most adaptable choices for travel,” she added. Craighead also noted “the accelerated rollout of vaccines is a gamechanger in providing for the health and well-being of the public, especially in the United States, where President Biden expects all adults will be eligible for vaccinations by May 1, 2021.”

“The cruise industry has adopted a high bar for resumption around the world with a multi-layered set of policies that is intended to be revised as conditions change. Our Members continue to follow this multi-layered approach to enhancing health and safety that has proven effective, making cruising one of the best and most adaptable choices for travel,” she added. Craighead also noted “the accelerated rollout of vaccines is a gamechanger in providing for the health and well-being of the public, especially in the United States, where President Biden expects all adults will be eligible for vaccinations by May 1, 2021.”

“The outdated CSO, which was issued almost five months ago, does not reflect the industry’s proven advancements and success operating in other parts of the world, nor the advent of vaccines, and unfairly treats cruises differently. Cruise lines should be treated the same as other travel, tourism, hospitality, and entertainment sectors,” Craighead emphasized.

While some cruise lines have announced a few sailings catering to those who have received vaccinations, CLIA does not currently have a policy related to vaccines. The organization and its members are exploring a workable approach for how to consider vaccinations, once widely available, as part of robust protocols.

According to CLIA, restarting cruises as part of the broader travel industry will provide a much-needed boost to the U.S. economy—with the cruise industry supporting nearly 450,000 American jobs and contributing over $55.5 billion annually, prior to the pandemic. Based on economic modeling by research firm BREA, more than 300,000 jobs have been lost in the United States due to the suspension of cruises. The majority of those impacted are independent business owners or individuals employed by small- to medium-sized businesses—including travel agents, taxi drivers, port employees, baggage handlers, and longshoremen, as well as airline, hotel, and restaurant workers.

11 thoughts on “CLIA Asks the CDC to Lift the Conditional Sail Order to Allow Phased Restarting by July 1st

  1. Paul T

    Royal Caribbean is resuming cruises in June with departures from Nassau and Bermuda. Disney should do the same

    Reply
  2. Siren Chudgar

    What’s worse is that the CDC basically said (without saying it) that current rules in place until AT LEAST Nov 1st. No guarantees. Hopefully someone will come to their senses and figure out a way to start a slow roll out to safe cruising.

    Reply
  3. Darren

    I see a lawsuit heading the CDC’s way. Or the lead of other cruise lines being followed with start/end in Nassau.

    Reply
  4. Marcus

    If DCL requires vaccination for cruising, then we’re out until that’s lifted. If they do institute a vaccination requirement permanently, then its goodbye cruising. And I hope they’ll be able to stay operational. Perhaps we’ll have to leave the US to cruise elsewhere.

    Reply
  5. Fred

    Time to homeport offshore and let those who want to go, fly and cruise. They could set up some great chatters out of Miami

    Reply
  6. James

    It sounds like you are going to be leaving cruising all together. In general those with higher disposable income, aka those that can afford to cruise, have a much higher vaccination rate and I suspect will push to make it mandatory.

    Reply
  7. Walt

    The CDC is being very cautious. There are still a lot of things we don’t know about this virus and the effectiveness of the vaccines. Don’t be upset with them. Patience cruisers. You can always fly to another country to cruise. Better to be careful than sorry.

    Reply
  8. Brett

    There is a bit of a double standard here Walt. I can get on a plane and fly anywhere with people 3 inches from me without vaccinations or restrictions. I can go to a hotel and stay there without any restriction. I can go to a resort in the Caribbean or on the US Mainland without restriction. So the CDC needs to be consistent in their rulings. If cruise ships were the only way our elected representatives could get around the country there would be urgency to get this fixed. I think people who are fans of cruising have every right to be upset with the CDC because they want to be treated fairly and just like every other industry. As for the comment that you can always fly to another country that is like saying “If you don’t like living here… why don’t you move.” It’s a bit of a cop out. You can be careful and still cruise.

    Reply
  9. Steven

    I agree with the double standards and its funny how other venues are open, it known the CDC doesn’t like the cruise industry. I’m up for the cruise lines to give the middle finger to the CDC and start sailing from ports out of the USA like the Bahamas. Im starting to think if left on the current track cruises won’t start back until 2022 and the CDC will still be hesitant of the start. We all want to get back to normal and all of us can only handle this for so long and I know its been 1yr but time will keep going on and the truth will come out.

    Reply

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