The CDC lowered the travel alert warning for cruises.
The CDC announced that they officially lowered the alert from Level 4, the highest, to Level 3. A Level 4 means that people should "avoid travel to this destination."
The Level 3 warning urges people to be vaccinated before travel.
"since the virus spreads more easily between people in close quarters aboard ships, the chance of getting COVID-19 on cruise ships is high,” and continued by warning that those who are not fully vaccinated "with an increased risk of severe illness avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises.” The new alert warning states.
The CDC says you should get tested 1-3 days before your trip and 3-5 days after the trip. Also, those who are not fully vaccinated should self-quarantine for seven days after cruise travel, even with a negative COVID-19 test result.
The current CDC process requires each ship that will be permitting non-vaccinated guests to complete a simulation cruise before receiving approval to resume sailing.
Ron DeSantis's lawsuit against the CDC over restrictions on cruise ships is at a standstill.
The mediator appointed by the U.S. District Court to resolve the lawsuit declared an impasse.
The federal government shut down all cruises in March of 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Florida filed the suit against the CDC over its no-sail order earlier this year.
The CDC is set to let cruises sail again if 98% of the crew and 95% of passengers are vaccinated and ships take other measures to limit the risk of transmitting the virus, but DeSantis, signed a bill banning business from requiring proof of vaccination.
"Unfortunately, the CDC has opted to continue its ridiculous and unlawful regulations that target a single industry by imposing vaccine requirements — something no other business or industry must do," said DeSantis. "This whole vaccination issue it is somewhat of a red herring because in their research, over 90% of the people who want to cruise have already been vaccinated at this point, so that is going to end up taking care of itself, you don’t need to discriminate against people."
Under the CDC guidelines, cruise lines have to run simulated sailings to test whether ships can sail safely and follow CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Florida is the nation’s cruise capital with three of the world’s busiest ports and the cruise industry generates billions for the economy and employs tens of thousands of Floridians.
Royal Caribbean cruise line has permission from the CDC to begin test cruises.
The CDC granted Royal Caribbean permission to simulate voyages for its ‘Freedom of the Seas’ ship in preparation for regular sailings.
“After 15 months and so much work by so many during very challenging times, to all our colleagues, loyal guests and supporters all over the world, I am proud and pleased to share some bright and wonderful news.” CEO and President Michael Bayley posted.
The test cruises can begin as early as June 20 from Port Miami, with pandemic precautions that need to be followed.
“We are thrilled by the news that Royal Caribbean will be able to conduct test voyages from PortMiami starting next month. This approval is a milestone for our hard-fought efforts to safely re-open the cruising industry, which is a cornerstone of Miami-Dade’s economy – generating $7 billion a year and supporting an estimated 40,000 jobs throughout multiple sectors of the economy. For weeks we have been working to vaccinate thousands of crew members at PortMiami to prepare for a safe re-opening. Miami-Dade is committed to working with the CDC and our cruise partners on this next phase of the safe return to cruising for millions of visitors, and a safe return to work for tens of thousands of workers in Florida. We are ready to welcome back passengers to the Cruise Capital of the World.” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.