US CDC Extends Conditional Sailing Order for Cruises to January Next Year

By Reuters
October 27, 2021 Updated: October 27, 2021

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday extended the conditional sailing order for cruises to Jan. 15 next year from Nov. 1 on concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant.

The order, issued last October, mandated testing and some additional safeguards for crew members as part of a framework for a phased resumption of cruises.

The public health agency said the extension includes minor changes and when the order is lifted it will shift to a “voluntary program” and work alongside ship operators to control COVID-19 numbers aboard cruise ships.

The highly contagious variant had earlier this year led to a surge in infections and hospitalizations in the United States, but cases have started to decrease in recent weeks.

The CDC had in May initiated a key step for the eventual resumption of U.S. cruise industry operations by issuing new technical instructions.

By Ruhi Soni and Amruta Khandekar