Published: November 5, 2020 - 12:01 AM
The CDC discussed the return to service for the cruise lines and the minimal requirements they must meet and prove – before they are allowed to return to service. In addition to these guidelines, the CDC is requiring the cruise lines to have arrangements with airlines, hotels, hospitals, ground trnsportation and other essential service providers to assure the cruise lines have a plan for the transportation, quarantine and housing for those ill as well as those who may have been affected. Theses service MUST be secured for the entire duration of the cruise,
Below is the actual excerpt from the CDC document which describes what the CDC considers as PROOF that the necessary precautions are in place.
The Minimum Standards for Simulated Voyages Prior to Issuance of COVID-19 Conditional Sailing Certificate.
As a condition of applying for a COVID-19 Conditional Sailing Certificate, a cruise ship operator must have successfully conducted a simulated voyage or series of simulated voyages demonstrating the cruise ship operator’s ability to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 onboard its cruise ship. A simulated voyage must meet the following requirements:
(1) The cruise ship operators shall inform volunteer passengers in writing that they are participating in a simulation of unproven and untested health and safety protocols for purposes of simulating a cruise ship voyage and that sailing during a pandemic is an inherently risky activity.
(2) All volunteer passengers must be at least eighteen years old or older. The cruise ship operator must also obtain from all volunteer passengers a written certification from a healthcare provider that the volunteer passenger has no pre-existing medical conditions that would place that individual at high risk for COVID-19 as determined through CDC guidance. CDC may issue additional requirements through technical instructions or orders relating to a cruise ship operator’s obligation to screen for volunteer passengers who may be at high risk for COVID-19.
(3) The cruise ship operator must conduct any simulation on a consensual basis and not as a condition of employment or in exchange for consideration or future reward. The cruise ship operator must document the informed consent of all participants in writing.
(4) The cruise ship operator must embark additional crew members beyond safe minimum manning levels only as determined through CDC technical instructions or orders.
(5) The cruise ship operator must design and conduct a simulated voyage insofar as practicable to test the efficacy of the cruise ship operator’s ability to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 onboard its cruise ship.
(6) The cruise ship operator must conduct a monitored observation period and laboratory testing of volunteer passengers, as directed in CDC technical instructions or orders, prior to embarking volunteer passengers on a simulated voyage.
(7) A simulated voyage must include the following simulated activities: (i) embarkation and disembarkation procedures, including terminal check-in, (ii) on board activities, including at dining and entertainment venues, (iii) private island shore excursions, if any are planned during restricted passenger voyages,(iv) evacuation procedures, (v) transfer of symptomatic passengers or crew, or those who test positive for SARS-CoV-2, from cabins to isolation rooms, (vi) quarantine of all remaining passengers and non-essential crew, and(vii) other activities as may be listed in CDC technical instructions and orders.
(8) The cruise ship operator must meet standards for hand hygiene, face coverings, and social distancing for passengers and crew, as well as ship sanitation, as may be required by CDC technical instructions or orders.
(9) The cruise ship operator must modify meal service and entertainment venues to facilitate social distancing during the simulated voyage.
(10) The cruise ship operator must conduct laboratory testing of all passengers and crew on the day of embarkation and the day of disembarkation as required by CDC technical instructions or orders. Laboratory test results must be available prior to passengers embarking and prior to passengers and crew departing for their final destinations after disembarking the ship. Crew and passengers must also be laboratory tested again post-disembarkation as required by CDC technical instructions or orders. Based on public health considerations, CDC may also require additional laboratory testing of passengers and crew and reporting of results, including during a voyage, as required by CDC technical instructions or orders.
(11) The cruise ship operator must immediately conduct laboratory testing of any passengers and crew who report illness consistent with COVID-19 during the simulated voyage with rapid point-of-care results as required by CDC technical instructions or orders. Identified close contacts of cases must also be laboratory tested with rapid point of care results.
With restrictions like these, the cruise lines have a rough road ahead to achieve and stay compliant.
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