Wednesday, September 30th, could mark the end of a six month long no-sail order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and now Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez is urging the agency not to extend the order any further.
The original order was issued in March, during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and was set to expire on September 15th. However, as new coronavirus clusters began sprouting aboard ships overseas in July, the CDC extended the order to September 30th.
Since then, Gimenez said one of the largest cruise companies in the United States, Cruise Lines International Association (CLA), has adopted several health protocols to begin phasing in passengers services.
"The elements mirror the protocols established in Europe for the successful resumption of cruising and go beyond all other industries in requiring 100% testing of passengers and crew prior to boarding," the statement read.
CLA, which includes Carnival, Royal Caribbean and dozens of other cruise companies, announced in August that their members would voluntarily extend the suspension of ocean-going cruise operations to Oct. 31.
Other measures the company says it has adopted include:
- 100% testing of passengers and crew prior to embarkation.
- Mandatory masks by all passengers and crew onboard and during excursions whenever physical distancing cannot be maintained.
- Physical distancing in terminals, onboard ships, on private islands and during shore excursions.
- Air management and ventilation strategies to increase fresh air onboard and, where feasible, using enhanced filters and other technologies to mitigate risk.
- Dedicated cabin capacity for isolation and other operational measures, and arrangements with private providers for shoreside quarantine, medical facilities and transportation.