CDC Director Tells U.S. Senate Committee the CDC Anticipates the Conditional Sail Order Will Not Be Renewed – Set to Expire January 15th

On Tuesday, January 11, 2022, CDC Director, Rochelle Walensky, commended the cruise industry for stepping up and exceeding guidance while addressing the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. During the hearing, Dr. Walensky responded to Alaska Senator, Lisa Murkowski’s questioning on the CDC’s Conditional Sail Order by stating, “we anticipate that this order will not be renewed, and that the cruise ship industries will continue to understand that this is a really safe practice for those industries.”

As it stands, the Conditional Sail Order is set to expire on January 15, 2022. Upon expiration, the order transition from a set of mandatory rules to guidelines.

Below is the excerpt from the full hearing where Murkowski asks, and Walensky responds to the question pertaining to the Conditional Sail Order.

YouTube player

Video Transcript

ALASKA SENATOR – LISA MURKOWSKI
Dr. Walensky this is a question for you. You and I have had many conversations last year about the specific impact of Conditional Sail Orders as it relates to the cruise industry.

That industry was effectively shut down for all of of 2020, and we were able to salvage a bit of it as things relaxed last year, but in fairness the industry itself has undertaken extraordinary precautions as one industry to make sure that people are protected from from this virus. So the question to you is – I want to make sure that alaskan communities and businesses can have a season this coming year and right now people are making their decisions as to whether or not to book a trip to Alaska for the summer or not.

I understand the Conditional Sail Order is is set to expire in a few days. In recognition that the companies have practices that adhere to or even exceed the guidance in the order. So, I guess, I’d like some assurance from you that they can count on that. That this is clear guidance and messaging to those within the industries and to those who are counting on being able to to have a season this coming summer.

DR ROCHELLE WALENSKY, MD, MPH (CDC DIRECTOR)

Yeah thank you Senator, and I think the Conditional Sail Order, and the fact that the industry has stepped up, and is now interested in doing and exceeding as you know the the compliance with the sail order without the order even necessarily needing to be in place is a is a real testimony to how well that has worked and how we’ve worked
collaboratively with the industry.

Um what I can say is that you know just over the last two weeks with omicron we’ve seen a 30-fold increase in cases on ships um during this season because of omicron.
So well I um anticipate that with ships following conditional sale order we still will continue to follow do the oversight and watch and do all the technical assistance and support in every single way.

We anticipate that this order will not be renewed, and that the cruise ship industries will continue to understand that this is a really safe practice for those industries.

What I can’t predict is what the summer will bring.

ALASKA SENATOR – LISA MURKOWSKI
Understand that, but for right now you expect this guidance to stay in place.

DR ROCHELLE WALENSKY, MD, MPH (CDC DIRECTOR)
That’s my anticipation thank you.

ALASKA SENATOR – LISA MURKOWSKI
Thank you madam chairman.

MADAM CHAIRMAN
Thank you senator.

[END OF TRANSCRIPT]


As it stands, I do not anticipate much immediate change as it relates to cruising if and when the Conditional Sail Order expires. Yes, I said if – if I’ve learned anything from this pandemic, it is the situation is dynamic, and can change direction at anytime. While the rules may become guidelines, the concern remains high. The cruise lines are not interested in another industry shutdown or individual ship restrictions as the CDC will continue to monitor the vessels within U.S. jurisdiction.

19 Replies to “CDC Director Tells U.S. Senate Committee the CDC Anticipates the Conditional Sail Order Will Not Be Renewed – Set to Expire January 15th”

  1. Enuff

    A step in the right direction for sure, but we cancelled our May sailing for a full refund already. I refuse to pay more for less and until DCL removes all these testing and vax requirements, we will not sail. I just received a discount email from DCL for 35% off select sailings. 35% off!! That never happens! Ever! It’s obvious that they are desperate to get people on ships. They could offer me a free sailing and I would decline if these restrictions were still in place. If the CSO is removed, then it’s up to the cruise lines to decide if they want get people back on their ships. Just remove the tests and vax. Once that day comes, we’ll be there!

    Reply
    1. James

      You are going to be waiting a long time. The vaccine and testing requirements are put in place by Nassau and the other counties that the ships will be visiting or transiting thru.

      Reply
      1. Enuff

        I can wait. There are plenty of other places to travel on this planet that want my money. And they’re cheaper too. Vote with your money. That’s the way the consumer wins every time.

        Reply
      1. Enuff

        It has already been stated by gov’t health officials that the PCR tests are not good and should no longer be used. I see it almost every day now that asymptomatic people are so afraid that they have it that they wait in line to get tested. No symptoms and they come up positive. What’s going on now is that the case numbers are being driven by mostly false positives. This was also verified with a family member who is also a nurse.

        Reply
        1. R

          I see the anti-science is still alive and well here. Such insanity. This is why we aren’t getting through this. Very glad to know you won’t be sailing and very glad that DCL is and will continue to keep the health and safety of its crew, cast members and guests paramount. Trust me, they are absolutely not hurting for money and will not even remotely miss your money. Have the day you deserve.

          Reply
          1. Enuff

            Nice try. The medical professionals in my family know the science. Continue to live in fear and believe what you are fed and see were that gets you. Also, here is the truth on DCL’s losses from Inside The Magic dot net…
            Oct 2021 – Disney Announces $255 MILLION Loss – Throughout 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney Cruise Line suffered perhaps more than any other Walt Disney Company division. The entire DCL fleet — the Disney Dream, the Disney Fantasy, the Disney Magic, and the Disney Wonder — were unable to sail for over a year, leading, unsurprisingly to huge financial losses for the company.

            Reply
  2. Brett

    Its hard to interpret (correctly) what this conversation between the Senator and the Director really means. I wish they would ask a straight question and get a straight answer as to yes or no if we can sail. No body wants to or likes to make a solid commitment either way. I understand the precautions but just let us sail, we miss our DCL cruises.

    Reply
  3. Carys Humphreys

    Does mean that will still be vaccinated but that no need for face masks and social distancing from other cruise passengers and in restaurants, theatre, shops oceanneer club and around the ship itself and that characters meet and greet guests be back to normal(e.g. the guests will be to stand close to characters without being 2 metres from characters or that the characters are behind an robe.

    Please answer ASAP

    Reply
    1. BartmanLA

      No it’s unlikely all those things you are asking about will change in the near future just because the CSO expires, the CDC is expecting DCL and other cruise lines will continue to implement safety protocols and protections in the coming future. Just because the CSO is lifted doesn’t mean Covid 19 is gone it’s here for the duration and Vaccination requirements and on board safety restrictions will stay in place until the Omicron surge drops significantly enough to consider relaxing them. This will not magcially mean all the precautions will go away. Not in the least

      Reply
  4. David

    I’m vaccinated and have the booster but I still don’t support cruises being for vaccinated people only. Vaccination should never be mandated.

    With that being said, testing beforehand is a good practice IMO and I hope it continues. Those who board the ship and know they are sick are being reckless and endangering everyone on it. It’s a selfish move.

    Reply
  5. Xavier

    A hot topic if there one lol
    The thing is that Covid 2022 with Omicron is not the same thing as Covid 2021 or even 2020.
    With vaccine & newly authorized treatments, now it’s basically just like flu.
    I do hope this year will see the return to normalcy. Humanity has so much more important problems to focus on.
    Just my 2 cents.

    Reply

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