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The Cruise Lines International Association, which represents 95% of the cruise industry, introduced mandatory requirements in order to be able to set sail again.

USA Today

Members of Congress called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to resume its “No Sail” order, which expired at the end of October and was replaced by a “Conditional Navigation Order”, which allows phased return to cruise.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democratic Senator from Connecticut, told USA Today on Friday: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is putting the American people at risk, let alone strengthening its presence worldwide. The potential for internal communication.”

California Democrat Blumenthal and Representative Doris Matsui are co-sponsors of the proposed “Boat Protection Act.”

This letter came after a series of COVID-19 cases appeared on SeaDream I of the SeaDream Yacht Club. Due to the outbreak, SeaDream I was forced to shorten the time of its first Caribbean voyage and is currently docked in Barbados. Blumenthal said: “These multiple cases are just the first signs of an imminent public health disaster.”

Blumenthal and Matsui wrote: “In light of these disturbing reports, we strongly believe that you should change the route that (CDC) recently decided to adopt a phased approach to restart U.S. cruise operations.” “On the contrary, we urge you to change the previous The sail order is extended to a time that can ensure the health and safety of passengers and crew.”

They pointed out in the letter that despite the cruise line’s efforts to safely sail, including active testing, social distancing, and the requirement to wear masks, these preventive measures are still not enough to prevent the coronavirus from infecting at least 7 passengers on board. SeaDream.

“According to the CDC’s own prohibition of navigation order,'[c]Cruise ships are still an unsafe environment, with narrow areas nearby, where diseases are easily spread and difficult to detect,’” the letter continued, “In fact, cruise ships were the virus at the epicenter of the initial COVID-19 outbreak. hotbed. . Today, the images of the passengers and crew stranded on the princess are still fresh in our memory. We must learn from the past and take immediate action to prevent history from repeating itself. “

The Grand Princess Cruise Line, one of the two ships on the Princess Cruise Line that experienced the early outbreak of COVID-19, forced passengers to quarantine during the pandemic in early March.

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The letter that Blumenthal and Matsui sent to the CDC last Friday was not the only letter the agency received from Congress.

In September, the CDC requested that the “No Sail” order be extended to February 15, 2021 before extending the order to October 31, but reached a compromise with the White House task force and extended the order to October 31. That is, a few days before the election on November 3, a person familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak publicly told “USA Today”then.

As a result, Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney from New York chaired the chairman of the House Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee and has formally requested the CDC for records. The request comes amid rumors that President Donald Trump’s administration at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) proposed a “no sail” order to ban cruise ships carrying 250 passengers in American waters. The order was extended to February due to uncertainty about the coronavirus pandemic.

Blumenthal and Matsui admitted that the “conditional navigation order” listed a “seemingly robust and phased approach to restart cruise operations”, but they expressed concern that “cruising during a global pandemic is absolutely unsafe”, especially when When the number of cases continues to rise, according to Johns Hopkins (Johns Hopkins) data, as of Friday afternoon, there have been 10.6 million cases and nearly 243,000 deaths in the country.

Blumenthal said that the conditional order “lack of effective specificity and rigor”, and pointed out that in order to restart the cruise, he believes that the incidence of disease must be greatly reduced, “very strict guidelines and restrictions on the number of people on board” and “routine test”. But he said the most important thing is that the pandemic as we know it now must be “ended” in order for cruise ships to sail safely.

The cruise industry issued a call earlier this month to extend its voluntary shutdown period to 2021. By postponing the voyage to the new year, they will have more time to prepare and align the industry agreement with the standards in the new CDC order. The test sailing and other requirements to be completed before the passenger cruise can be resumed.

In the letter, Blumenthal and Matsui asked Redfield to respond no later than November 27.

Blumenthal said: “We will see large-scale outbreaks on cruise ships. These riots will become floating hotspots, causing heavy casualties, and potentially spreading the disease worldwide (if the voyage is restarted),” the passengers will Returning to your own community may further spread this virus. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should implement its’no sail’ policy, and of course it should not be suspended in the second wave of violent attacks we are seeing now.”

The CDC declined to comment on this matter.

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