The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have extended their reach. COVID-19Rules cruise shipsThe federal health agency said Monday that they would be voluntary for the next 15 days, which will take place on Jan. 15.

Due to the spread of the more transmittable delta coronavirus variant, the temporary extension of emergency safety and health protocols that were due to expire in November was made. the CDC said

For the last year, cruise ships were allowed to go on their normal routes provided they adhered to these guidelines. these protocols These include COVID-19 vaccines for crew and passengers, and onboard masks.

Joe Raedle via Getty Images
Passengers cheer as the Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas departed Miami in June for the first U.S. trial voyage. This was to test COVID-19 protocols.

Such requirements “have successfully averted overwhelming onboard medical facilities and burdening shoreside hospital resources,” the CDC said in a statement.

“While cruising will always pose some risk of disease spread, CDC remains committed to ensuring that cruising is conducted in way that protects crew members, passengers, port personnel, and communities,” the CDC said.

The CDC’s order applies to vessels currently operating or planning to operate in U.S. waters that have the capacity to carry at least 250 people.

Capt. Aimee Treffiletti, who leads the CDC’s maritime unit, told USA Today that the decision to extend the order was made “in the best interest of public health.”

“The pandemic isn’t over. We’ve seen what the delta variant can do,” Treffiletti said. “Despite, you know, really what have been the best efforts of the cruise industry to provide a safer and healthier environment for crew, passengers and communities, COVID-19 has still been a challenge, particularly with the delta variant.”


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