Yesterday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released final technical guidelines for cruise line trial runs. This is a step toward sailings resuming in the U.S., possibly by mid-July.
Cruise lines will soon be able to begin test sailings in U.S. waters with volunteer passengers. The trial sailings will have enough passengers to meet at least 10% of the ship’s capacity and run for two to seven days. The volunteers must be 18 or older and examined for COVID-19 symptoms before and after the trip. They also must be either fully vaccinated or free of medical conditions that would put them at high risk for COVID-19.
Cruise lines must tell the volunteers that the safety measures being simulated are untested and that sailing during COVID-19 is a risky activity. Onboard restrictions will include wearing face masks and social distancing and at least 75% of passengers must be tested for COVID-19 at the end of the sailing. Guided shore excursions will be allowed if tour operators follow certain standards.
Test sailings can be skipped if cruise lines can vouch that 98% of crew and 95% of passengers are vaccinated. If cruise lines decide to do the practice cruises, at least one will be required before they’ll be allowed to resume regular sailings in U.S. waters.
Disney Cruise Line has not made any announcement regarding test sailings with volunteers. Stay tuned to Chip & Co for more updates!