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The cruise industry is uncomfortable with the CDC plan to ensure passengers are protected from COVID at sea



The face-wearing man walked along the harbor on a sunny day, while the Princess Diamond cruise ship docked in the background.
enlarge / Yokohama, Japan-February 10: Members of the media wear masks as they walk past Diamond princess Cruise ship.

The cruise industry is concerned about the latest federal safety pandemic navigation guidelines, calling it “cumbersome” and “unfeasible.” “

The new guidelines are the update phase of the Conditional Navigation Order Framework (CSO) issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on April 2. Although it does not require all staff and cruise ship passengers to be vaccinated, it does recommend vaccination and requires additional health measures to try to make the airborne COVID-19 outbreak, which is difficult to do in a compact, highly compact environment To. Social ships.

Among several changes, the guidelines require cruise operators to increase the frequency with which they report COVID-19 cases on board, from weekly reports to daily reports. It also requires the cruise company to implement new routine tests for the crew. In addition, the guidelines require cruise companies to reach agreements with port authorities and local health authorities to ensure that in the event of an outbreak, there is the necessary coordination and infrastructure to safely isolate, isolate and treat passengers and crew on land.

Once these requirements are met, cruise operators can conduct simulated voyages with voluntary passengers, and if all goes well, they can apply for a “conditional voyage certificate.”

In a statement issued on Monday, the well-known industry trade organization Cruise Lines International Association issued a statement saying that the new guidelines are “too cumbersome and largely impractical.”

disappointing

CLIA claims that the health guidelines “deprive American workers of the ability to participate in economic recovery” and provide “no obvious path forward or recovery timetable” for voyages from the country. At the end of the statement, the organization urged the Biden administration to “consider sufficient evidence to support the removal of CSO this month in order to plan for controlled services this summer.”

Similarly, Norwegian Cruise Line chief executive Frank Del Rio said in an interview with the Washington Post on Monday that the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was “disappointed” by the company. Del Rio said: “Frankly, we think this is a step back.”

Cruise company executive Zhou unanimously wrote to CDC director Rochelle Walensky, saying that the cruise company’s own plan is to resume cruise safely, which includes mandatory vaccinations for all passengers and employees. Regardless of the vaccination status, Del Rio is unwilling to accept other requests from the agency.

CDC is unlikely to move on this topic. The agency pointed out when issuing the guidelines, “It is very difficult to cruise safely and responsibly during a global pandemic. Although cruises always bring some risks of COVID-19 transmission, after the CSO phase, cruise ships will be ensured. The way passengers operate can protect crew, passengers and port personnel, especially for the emerging COVID-19 variant.”

In the early days of the pandemic, cruise ships were the first high-profile victims of COVID-19 and experienced a devastating outbreak that attracted international attention.One of the most memorable is Diamond princessIn February 2020, during an outbreak, the ship was quarantined in a Japanese port for several weeks. At one point, the luxury liner had the largest COVID-19 cluster outside of China, where the pandemic started. Of the ship’s 3,711 passengers and crew, a total of 712 were infected, 37 required intensive care, and 9 of them died.


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