The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) sent a letter to cruise lines on April 28, telling them they can forego test sailings if 98 percent of their crew and 95 percent of their passengers are fully vaccinated. The letter, which was obtained by Travel Weekly, also said the CDC plans a mid-July re-launch of the cruise industry in the United States.
Currently, the Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) by the CDC will require trial sailings, proof of COVID-19 policies, and then application for a certificate to relaunch sailings.
“We remain committed to the resumption of passenger operations in the United States following the requirements in the CSO by midsummer, which aligns with the goals announced by many major cruise lines,” the letter said, according to Travel Weekly.
If a cruise line still plans to go forward with trial cruises, the CDC has said they will review those tests within five days, instead of the current 60 days.
The mid-July date was chosen so cruise lines have time to vaccinate their crews.