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CDC Now Playing Nice with Cruise Industry

Agency rolls out voluntary Covid-19 plan for cruise lines to follow.

With the conditional sailing order expiring Jan. 15, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has unveiled a new voluntary COVID-19 program for cruise ships.

So far there has been no comment from Royal Caribbean, Carnival Corporation or Norwegian Cruise Line as to whether they will opt in to the plan, but "industry sources" think that they will take part.

Any cruise line that does not take part will be listed as gray under the CDC color code system signifying that the line's procedures have not been reviewed by the CDC.

Under the new guidelines there will be changes. For example, the threshold for CDC investigation will go from 0.1% passenger cases or one or more crew cases to 0.3% of passengers and/or crew.

This will be 'yellow' or 'orange' under the color-coded system, which is being updated.

'Red' status criteria are also being updated. The CDC will eliminate the simulated voyage requirement and the conditional sailing certificate application process.

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