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Published on Thursday, April 29, 2021

CDC says US cruises could resume in mid-July

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reaffirmed cruise operations in US waters could restart by mid-July.

In a letter to cruise-industry executives this week, the CDC also slightly eased rules to allow cruise lines to skip the need for 'test cruises' before launching revenue sailings.

In the letter it said no test cruises are required if they prove that 98% of crew members and 95% of all passengers are fully vaccinated.  

Test cruise was one of the final steps to sign off on a cruise ship's onboard health and safety as part of the CDC's conditional-sail order.

"This puts cruise ships closer to open-water sailing sooner," the CDC said.

The CDC also loosened other requirements.

Fully vaccinated guests can now take a rapid test upon embarkation instead of PCR test, the CDC said.

Disembarking guests will be able to quarantine at home if they are within driving distance.

The mid-July restart date is feasible if cruise line soon submit the necessary documents related to port agreements, the agency said.

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