Over the past 12 1/2 months, the CDC has not allowed cruises to sail from U.S. ports. Last week, executives from the major cruise lines met with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to discuss a safe restart of cruise ships from Florida ports.
Nearly 400,000 have safely sailed on cruise ships around the world over the past six months with less than 50 confirmed COVID cases, a rate far lower than on land. This is due to new health and safety protocols added by cruise lines that have restarted.
As government officials work with cruise lines, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava issued the following statement after a call with the CDC:
“We were very encouraged by our call today with CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. Division Director Dr. Martin Cetron, and the CDC team to discuss the safe return of cruising in the U.S. I was impressed by the Director’s knowledge of the industry and her empathy to the economic hardships that the less of business has caused.
We are excited that the CDC will shortly be issuing new guidelines for a restart of cruising, taking into consideration the advancements made possible by the vaccine, and we are eager to work with the CDC and cruise industry as a positive partner and resource.
Some may want to sue, but we want to sail, and we are ready to collaborate to make sure the Cruise Capital of the World can lead way to rebuild this critical industry.”
Several cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, have moved cruise ships away from U.S. port so they can begin sailing as soon as June.
It is unknown at this time when cruises will restart from Florida and other U.S. ports. Cruise lines currently have all cruises from the U.S. canceled through the end of May and June, depending on the line.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is urging the Biden Administration to lift the Conditional Sail Order and allow cruises to slowly begin to restart in July. It will take cruise lines approximately 90 days to prepare a ship to begin cruising with the appropriate enhanced measures in place.
The CDC currently has the Conditional Sail Order in place through November 1, 2021 or until the expiration of the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ declaration that COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency, whichever comes first.