Cruise liners have essentially been moored since last March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Although the CDC in late 2020 lifted a no sail order, there remains significant restrictions for cruise ships that use US ports.
On Wednesday, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), a trade group that advocates for a number of the top cruise line companies, called on the CDC to lift the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order. The CLIA wants a phased resumption of cruise operations from U.S. ports by the beginning of July.
The organization cited recent comments by President Joe Biden who said he is hopeful that the US can return to a state of normalcy by July 4.
The CLIA says that the pandemic has cost 300,000 jobs to its industry alone.
"Over the past eight months, a highly-controlled resumption of cruising has continued in Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific—with nearly 400,000 passengers sailing to date in more than 10 major cruise markets. These voyages were successfully completed with industry-leading protocols that have effectively mitigated the spread of COVID-19. Additional sailings are planned in the Mediterranean and Caribbean later this spring and summer," said Kelly Craighead, CLIA's President and CEO.
The CLIA believes the ships can safely reopen.
"The cruise industry has adopted a high bar for resumption around the world with a multi-layered set of policies that is intended to be revised as conditions change. Our Members continue to follow this multi-layered approach to enhancing health and safety that has proven effective, making cruising one of the best and most adaptable choices for travel," she added.
The CDC has continued to advise against traveling on cruise lines.
“CDC recommends that all people avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises, worldwide, because the risk of COVID-19 on cruise ships is very high,” the CDC said. “It is especially important that people with an increased risk of severe illness avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises.”