Cruising can restart in US waters

By | Category: Travel news

From mid-July, ocean cruising can re-start from US waters.

Carnival Cruise Lines 855-foot-long Carnival Ecstasy cruises off Cozumel, Mexico. Photo by Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Lines.

The decision was made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and therefore there seems no reason why it shouldn’t go ahead.

Why is this of significance to readers?

Because a number of British (and Germans) have taken to flying into Florida in order to catch ships sailing to the Caribbean.

The other reason that readers should be interested is because many cruise companies will see the rules laid down and ask if governments around the Mediterranean will follow similar requirements.

The first is that cruise lines do not need to operate ‘test cruises’ before launching cruises with passengers provided that cruise companies prove that 98% of crew members and 95% of all passengers are fully vaccinated ie have had both doses where two doses are required. 

Those that are fully vaccinated guests can now take a rapid test upon embarkation instead of PCR test which is the test that costs more and takes longer to process.

Finally, when passengers leave a ship they will be able to quarantine at home if they are within driving distance.

This last point raises a problem for travellers flying into the USA to catch a cruise but by mid-July matters might have changed again.

As to what European countries will decide, there is no problem with cruises that sail around a single country or just around the seas without landing.

Whether the EU will accept the antigen tests instead of PCR ones for those who have had both vaccinations is also a key point. Just as importantly is what will be the attitude of governments to returning passengers?

Will they have to take a PCR test again and isolate or will they just be allowed to disembark?.

It seems very unlikely that ships will carry passengers that haven’t been vaccinated since booking numbers for cruises – at least around national waters – are high so antigen testing seems a good possibility.

Cruise companies will want to make cruising fun and as easy as possible so the chances are that cruise companies might avoid countries that insist on lengthy and pricey rules for passengers.

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