Cruise lines will require mandatory COVID testing for passengers and crew once sailing resumes in U.S.

September 22, 2020
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    Sailing the seas will come with a new list of mandatory rules.

    The Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), which represents major cruise companies, announced that it will mandate COVID tests for passengers and crew prior to boarding.

    The changes will be implemented once service for U.S. cruises resume.

    Other health protocols include wearing mandatory masks onboard when distancing cannot be maintained and during certain excursions, along with following social distancing orders in terminals and aboard ships.

    Passengers who don’t comply won’t be allowed to reboard, according to ABC News. 

    The safety plan will also require ships to increase how much fresh air is in the ventilation systems and to use advanced filtration methods when possible.

    The CLIA called the new rules a “critical step” in resuming cruise operations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

    “These core elements will be continuously evaluated and adjusted against the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the availability of new prevention, therapeutics and mitigation measures,” CLIA said in a statement.

    While the CDC has a “No Sail Order” extending through September 30, many ships have voluntarily postponed cruises through October 31.

    The CDC did not reveal whether they would extend the order explaining that they did not have enough information to determine when it would be safe for cruises to resume operations.

    “CDC will continue to work with cruise lines to ensure that all necessary public health procedures are in place before cruise lines begin sailing with passengers,” the agency revealed, per “Good Morning America.”

    The order has been extended twice since March.

    On Monday, Arnold Donald, the president and CEO of Carnival Corp., said that even if the CDC lifts the order, cruise lines will need at least a month to prepare their ships and train staff.

    Carnival Cruise Line independently announced that all of its voyages will be cancelled into the spring of 2021.

    Colleen McDaniel, editor-in-chief of Cruise Critic, revealed that passengers have been open to the idea of a COVID test.

    She said it isn’t a “deal breaker,” but rather adds a level of “comfort.”

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