The US cruise industry has been under a “No Sail” order since March 14 due to COVID-19 concerns, barring cruise ships from operating. The CDC had originally planned to extend the ban to February 2021, but reportedly overruled by the White House, the ban was lifted months earlier than anticipated. Starting November 1, a new Conditional Sailing Order went into effect, allowing major cruise companies to depart US waters.
According to the order, crew members will be tested for COVID-19 regularly thanks to on-board lab facilities and be given PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), ships will have simulated voyages to ensure they can handle potential outbreaks, and all vessels must have written agreements with ports confirming housing for passengers or crew if a quarantine becomes necessary.
Despite the lifting of the “No Sail” order, the cruise industry won’t exactly start booming in November. Many cruises have already been canceled for the remainder of 2020, so it’s unclear exactly how many cruises will actually operate in the coming months.
A version of this article was previously published on September 30, 2020, and was updated on November 2, 2020, with more information.