Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a temporary extension of the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) for cruise ships through January 15, 2022. This temporary extension includes minor changes and changes. applies to all commercial, non-cargo, foreign-flagged passenger ships currently operating or planning to operate in U.S. waters with a carrying capacity of at least 250 people and with an itinerary providing for an overnight stay on board or a 24-hour stay on board for passengers or crew. After the expiration of this temporary extension, CDC intends to move to a voluntary program, in coordination with cruise ship operators and other stakeholders, to help the cruise industry detect, mitigate and controlling the spread of COVID-19 aboard cruise ships.
Since the issuance of the CSO on October 30, 2020, cruise lines, with assistance from the CDC, have developed and implemented strong health and safety protocols to manage COVID-19 and resume passenger operations. The procedures put in place to resume passenger operations have successfully avoided overwhelming onboard medical facilities and overloading hospital resources ashore. However, CDC has decided to temporarily extend the Order due to the continued spread of the Delta variant. After this temporary extension expires next year, the CDC intends to move to a voluntary program. This transition will pursue strong measures to detect, mitigate and control the spread of COVID, and it will align with other travel orders, including global contract tracking and global test orders.
While the cruise still poses a risk of spreading disease, the CDC remains committed to ensuring that the cruise is conducted in a manner that protects crew members, passengers, port staff and communities. CDC continues to work with the cruise industry and other partners to resume cruising by following the recommendations and requirements outlined in the CSO extension.
This decree will remain in force until the first of
- The expiration of the statement by the Secretary of Health and Human Services that COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency,
- The CDC Director cancels or modifies the order based on specific public health or other considerations, or
- January 15, 2022.
The CDC will continue to update its guidelines and recommendations based on the best available scientific evidence. For more information on COVID-19 and cruise ships, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/cruise/index.html. To view the framework for the Conditional Navigation Order (CSO), go to https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/cruise/covid19-cruiseships.html.