The CDC has released a new sailing order as of July 1, 2015, which aims to cut down on the risk of the spread of foodborne illnesses. In short, the new rules have three main requirements: source, handling, and disposing of foods. According to the CDC, the new order is intended to help limit the spread of foodborne illness by preventing the consumption of undercooked eggs and chicken, which are the most common foodborne illnesses in cruise ships.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its conditional order to address the potential threat of Legionella pneumophila to cruise ships. The CDC updated the order, which was first issued in 2008, to include ships that have recently undergone major renovations or have hull changes to improve passenger health and safety. The updated conditional order also includes provisions to address the risk of potential exposure to passengers through environmental sources, such as air vents, water pipes, and shower heads.
In an effort to help prevent another Oceana cruise ship disaster, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has revised its “conditional sailing” order, which is a requirement to minimize the risk of a severe or fatal epidemic on a ship. The new CDC order, which was released on June 22, 2016, eliminates the mandatory condition that ships have a water-based sanitation system, a safety feature that was a key aspect of a previous CDC order.
Under the Conditional Sailing Order, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has made numerous modifications to its technical instructions (CSO). Face masks are included in the changes made on August 27, 2021, and the wording has been changed to indicate that the CSO is just a suggestion in Florida, as well as updated testing criteria and a new color status.
Updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for Cruise Ships
The CDC’s Conditional Sailing Order has been in effect since the end of October 2020, and despite the complicated technical requirements, cruise companies have gone above and beyond to ensure compliance.
The situation has since improved, with cruise companies leading the way and establishing their own procedures to keep guests and staff safe while on board. Due to increasing concerns about the Delta variety, many of the CDC changes mirror what the cruise companies have already done.
Rob Hainer / Shutterstock.com / Rob Hainer / Shutterstock.com / Rob Hainer / Shutterstock.
Policies Concerning Face Masks
One of the most significant changes concerns face masks, with the CDC now recommending that cruise companies rethink tougher precautions on board for passengers and staff.
The CDC’s website
The CDC wants the following regulations regarding face masks to be reviewed:
- Allowing fully vaccinated staff members to remove masks inside in places where passengers are not allowed.
- Designating locations that are exclusively accessible to properly vaccinated passengers and staff and do not need masks or physical separation.
- Passengers and staff aboard ships with 95 percent completely vaccinated personnel and passengers are advised that they are not need to wear masks or keep physical distance in any places.
Due to the new variations, several cruise companies have already imposed additional limitations on face masks. All passengers are now recommended to wear a face mask inside and are obliged to wear a mask in “elevators and designated indoor entertainment areas, all retail stores, and in the casino,” according to Carnival Cruise Line’s revised mask guideline, which went into effect on August 7.
It’s a little more complicated for Royal Caribbean since various locations need different vaccinations. The cruise line now mandates all passengers to wear a face mask inside, although there are certain exceptions, such as dedicated venues for fully vaccinated passengers.
Crew members, regardless of their immunization status, already wear a face mask on board. To ensure that passengers are protected, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and NCL have all crew members properly vaccinated.
A new gray status code has been implemented.
The color condition of cruise ships that have just resumed operations has received a lot of attention. With cruise companies working under the new realities that the globe confronts, it’s undeniably a highly fluid scenario.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/richard pross
The CDC has recently added a “Gray” classification that will be applied to cruise ships departing from Florida. This implies that the CDC will not be keeping track of any cases on board, including any existing procedures. This is because the State of Florida won its case against the CDC in which the CDC agreed to make the Conditional Sailing Order a suggestion rather than a mandate.
The CDC’s website
The CDC has also given the cruise ship a green status, indicating that there are no cases on board. A ship with an orange color status has documented instances but does not meet the criteria for a CDC investigation.
The presence of a yellow status indicates that instances have been recorded and that more research is required. A cruise ship with a red status should return to port promptly owing to a COVIF outbreak on board.
Passengers who have been vaccinated will be tested (Within Two Days)
Even fully vaccinated passengers must now produce a negative test result, as the CDC has followed the example of many cruise companies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “fully vaccinated travelers must show a SARS-CoV-2 negative virus test result at the time of departure.” The sample must be collected no later than two days prior to boarding.”
Due to the Delta variant, cruise companies have lately incorporated this as part of their procedures. From August 14, Carnival Cruise Line adopted updated testing for fully vaccinated passengers, although it now takes three days instead of the CDC’s two days. “Fully vaccinated passengers must additionally show the negative findings of a COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) done within three days before to embarkation,” according to the cruise.
When it comes to “within three days,” Royal Caribbean follows the same procedures as Carnival when it comes to testing vaccinated guests. There are additional particular specifics to Florida, so passengers should double-check all pertinent information before embarking on their trip to ensure that no changes are overlooked.
Even though the CDC’s Conditional Sailing Order is just a guideline for the state, cruise ships leaving from Florida remain committed to it for the time being. It is critical for the cruise industry to continue in these new times by ensuring the safety of its passengers and staff.
News of the CDC’s new instructions for cruise lines came shortly after the agency issued its revised standards for real-world disease transmission. The changes will go into effect for ships entering the US passenger trade next month, and will apply to ships traveling between US ports. The CDC’s most recent guidance for cruise ships outlined what ports they should avoid, but it lacked details on what ports to visit.. Read more about cdc guidelines for cruise ships 2021 and let us know what you think.
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- cdc guidelines for cruise ships 2021