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When Will Cruise Ships Sail Again - And Will it Be Safe? | AARP


Many types of travel have collapsed during the coronavirus pandemic, but no sector has been hit harder than cruise lines. The industry suffered a public relations calamity when the virus exploded last February on big ships like the Diamond Princess, spurring ports to turn others away out of fear that passengers might transmit it.

Between March 1 and July 10, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered nearly 3,000 cases of COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 and 34 deaths across 123 ships.

But at some point in 2021, cruising is poised to return. The CDC lifted its no-sail order in October, laying out new guidelines for big-ship cruising to resume operations in U.S. waters. The new Framework for Conditional Sailing Order applies to ships carrying at least 250 people, including crew, and requires cruise lines to demonstrate their infection control measures as well as run simulated voyages without paying passengers. (Cruise lines have been swamped with volunteers hoping to come aboard on those test cruises.)

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