US agency sets rules for cruise ships to start sailing again
Ship owners must test all passengers and crew at the start and end of all voyages, which are limited to seven days
Federal health officials on Friday issued new rules that will enable large cruise ships to start sailing again in U.S. waters, though not immediately.
Among the requirements spelled out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Ship owners must test all passengers and crew at the start and end of all voyages, which are limited to seven days.
In mid-March, the CDC ordered cruise ships to stop sailing to U.S. ports because several coronavirus outbreaks convinced officials that the vessels were potential cauldrons of infection. The order was renewed a few times, with the latest renewal set to expire Saturday.
The new guidelines effectively bring the no-sail order to an end.
To resume carrying passengers, the companies have to demonstrate they have procedures for testing, quarantining and isolating passengers and crew. They will have to build test labs on all ships, and make their own arrangements to isolate or quarantine passengers on shore if needed. Before being allowed to sail, they will have to conduct mock voyages with volunteers playing passengers who get sick, the CDC said.
All of this will take time, possibly months, a CDC spokesperson said.
“This framework provides a pathway to resume safe and responsible sailing," said Dr. Robert Redfield, the agency's director, in a statement. "It will mitigate the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks on ships and prevent passengers and crew from seeding outbreaks at ports and in the communities where they live.”
The CDC developed the criteria with input from the White House Coronavirus Task Force, an agency spokesperson said.
The health agency said it could force limits on passenger capacity, but the framework doesn’t spell out specifics.
The original no-sail order was influenced by an outbreak on the Diamond Princess early this year, which resulted in more than 700 people testing positive and nine reported deaths. At least 159 were infected on the Grand Princess, including eight who died.
On March 13, the Cruise Line International Association - a trade group - announced its members would voluntarily suspend operations. But at least 19 outbreaks were identified on cruise ships between mid-March and mid-April, the new CDC order noted.
The CDC document is “an important step toward returning our ships to service from U.S. ports,” said Kelly Craighead, the trade group's president.
Europe is smiling politely, exchanging texts such as “we set already our own table. You are welcome as a partner, not as a leader”.
Coronavirus: Mahmoud el-Komy, who designed the robot, called Cira-03, says it can help limit exposure to infection and prevent...
A Foreign Office minister has resigned in protest at Rishi Sunak's plans to cut the overseas aid budget, amid a growing Tory revolt over the decision.
The scrapping of Hong Kong’s double stamp duty for non-residential property has been welcomed by the city’s small businesses.
Leaving all your online wealth to the family is your present for their future.
Unfortunately, digital assets don’t really “fit” into a conventional physical will.
Carrie Lam says changes will be made to oath-taking laws to align them with Beijing’s recent resolution that led to unseating of opposition legislators.
Hong Kong opposition activist put in single cell in medical ward after scan reveals ‘a shadow’ in his stomach. Prison source says...
Victim, baby son and domestic helper tied up during terrifying home invasion that took place just yards from Cheung Sha Wan Police Station.
Government could implement large-scale universal community testing again in a bid to achieve the target, Chief Executive Carrie Lam says.
The number of domestic abuse offences recorded by police in England and Wales has increased during the pandemic.
The "economic emergency" caused by Covid-19 has only just begun, according to chancellor Rishi Sunak, as he warned the...
The UK has ditched its policy of spending 0.7% of national income on overseas aid to help deal with the coronavirus crisis at home.
Another 696 people have died with coronavirus in the UK – the highest death toll since May 5, when 726 people died.
Residents of a housing estate say they are struggling to deal with a rodent infestation so bad they see dead rats on the street while they walk around.
Police were left shocked when they pulled over a sports car to find it had a huge metal handbrake lever.
An ex Eton College teacher is facing jail after being found guilty of sexually touching students during night time visits to their bedroom.
The president’s former national security adviser twice pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador.
UK Minister for Overseas Territories Baroness Elizabeth Sugg has today (November 25) resigned from her post amid the UK government’s...
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's abrupt decision to partially pause a domestic travel campaign amid rising COVID-19...
We were in a crisis before COVID-19 - a crisis of capitalism. Join Ali Rae in this first episode of “Al Hail The Lockdown” - a...
As coronavirus vaccines receive approval and become available to the world, the next questions to crop up are the ethics behind...
Nearly nine in 10 products sold on Black Friday are available for the same price or cheaper earlier in the year, according to consumer group Which?.
The European Union has proposed new rules to allow companies access to public and personal data, an effort to compete with U.S.
He was ranked with Pele among the best, and his ability to surprise and startle won over fans and even critics. But his excesses and addictions darkened his legacy.