CDC Maritime Division Boss thinks ships could cruise this summer
Dr. Martin Cetron tells Miami Herald a restart could happen after simulated cruises.
The Miami Herald is reporting that in an interview, Cetron thinks the cruise industry could get restarted this summer in the U.S. It was not clear who he interviewed him, but it seems filled with government-speak. When asked about a restart, Cetron responded, “The caveat is if I’ve learned anything in this pandemic, it’s that it’s hard to predict three weeks in advance — much less three months,” he said. “In an ideal setting where we don’t have an overwhelming fourth wave of variants that are unresponsive to our mitigation strategies, that if all things go well as planned...I think with following the guidance we laid out, we can all probably get to a place of partial resumption of sailing in July.”
In responding to why the airline industry operates unchecked, he said, “[Air travel] is a shorter journey compared to spending a week, a day and night in a hospitality-based industry in which the air handling environment isn’t exactly the same,” said Cetron. “It’s meals multiple times a day together, buffets, rooms, mixed crowds between the crew and the passengers, and the types of sleeping arrangements for the crew is very different than it is for passengers. So it’s a different setting, and of course, this pandemic has taught us the risk of certain settings is different than others. Each of them has to be considered in the context of those environments.”
Cetron also poured cold water on Americans cruising on ships sailing from outside the United States even though the CDC has advised vaccinated guests that it is safe to travel and all cruises originating from outside the U.S. will require guests to be vaccinated. “We’re really getting our best tools in place right now. Getting all Americans vaccinated is a game-changer in this pandemic. I know that it’s really hard, and I know pandemic fatigue is real; people just want out. We are so close. Give us some time.”
If the ships do finally sail in July, it will be 17 months since these folks at the CDC shut down the industry. Time enough?