Cruise industry on crossroads
Brussels 28.05.2021 Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R-FL) administration is standing firm over the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) efforts to regulate the cruise industry in the aftermath of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, reiterating that the federal agency “has no legal authority to set any sort of requirements to cruise” and warning cruise ships against requiring vaccine passports. DeSantis Administration Fires Warning Shot over Requiring Vaccine Passports in the Cruise Industry.
The DeSantis administration responded to the news of the CDC clearing a Celebrity Cruises ship to set sail out of Port Everglades, making it the “first cruise ship to sail from US waters in more than a year.” The CDC granted the ship permission to do so after it met certain health standard requirements.
The Celebrity Edge poised to be the first major cruise ship to sail from the United States in over a year as Covid-19 restrictions continue to ease in the U.S.
The ship, part of the Celebrity Cruises line owned by Royal Caribbean Group, has been cleared to sail from Fort Lauderdale with paying passengers in June 2021.
“After months of working with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other government officials, our Healthy Sail Panel and industry partners, we can again offer cruise lovers the chance to enjoy the wonders of cruising. We are truly thankful to reach this special milestone,” Richard D. Fain, Royal Caribbean Group chairman and CEO, said in a press statement.
Cruise travelers who sail from the U.S. on fully vaccinated ships will no longer be required to wear a mask indoors or maintain social distancing, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control Prevention said.
In updated guidance to the CDC’s Conditional Sail Order, the agency put in a new section, essentially giving more discretion to cruise lines that sail with a COVID-19 vaccine requirement.
In the amended section, the agency said that ships that agree to have at least 95 percent of crew and 95 percent of passengers vaccinated can tell both that they do not have to wear a mask or maintain physical distance in any areas.