The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday released long-awaited technical guidelines for navigation lines, bringing them one step closer to re-navigating US waters.
While some shipping lines in Europe demanded that all passengers be vaccinated, the CDC did not make much progress. The agency notes that the vaccine will play an important role in the safe resumption of navigation, and has advised all relevant port staff and passengers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available to them.
By proposing vaccines over demand, the CDC has avoided clashes with Florida, one of the largest bases in the maritime industry, which prohibits businesses from requiring vaccine proof from customers.
Ships sailing in the United States for more than a year are anchored by an epidemic and can only be operated under the CDC Conditional Sailing Order issued the following October to ensure that sailing vessels build built-in infrastructure to mitigate risks. coronavirus.
The technical instructions will allow airlines to prepare their vessels for simulation voyages designed to check with volunteers for health և safety protocols առ operational procedures before paying for passengers.
The new recommendations include increasing the daily COVID-19 case reporting, conducting routine crew testing based on the ship’s COVID-19 status, and contracting with coastal medical facilities for passengers who may become ill while traveling.
Once the voyages have prepared their vessels, they must give the CDC 30 days notice before embarking on a pilot voyage; they will have to apply for a conditional voyage certificate 60 days prior to the scheduled regular voyage.
The Norwegian Cruise Line, one of the industry’s largest operators, wrote a letter to the CDC on Monday outlining its plan to resume navigation from US ports in July, which included a mandatory vaccination of all guests and crew. The company said that its vaccination requirement և multi-layered health և safety protocols exceed the requirements of the agency’s conventional navigation procedure.
Flights from Seattle to Alaska by other Norwegian companies are also blocked by Canada barring such ships from entering the country’s ports. Canada recently extended the ban until February 2022.
The small shipping company Windstar Cruises announced on Monday that it would require passengers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to The Miami Herald. The company announced the request as it plans to resume navigation in the Caribbean հուն in June after not operating for more than a year. The company will require staff members to be vaccinated “as soon as the vaccines are available to them.”
However, in a statement issued Monday, the industry-trading group Cruise Lines International Association called the guidelines “so overburdened and ambiguous that no clear timeline for progress can be found.”
The group called on the CDC to suspend navigation and allow the phased resumption of US sailing vessels in July. The group “urges the administration to look at the many pieces of evidence supporting the elimination of CSOs this month to allow them to plan a controlled return to service this summer,” the statement said.