US Travel Association joins the cruise industry to demand the resumption of cruise line operations. The US Travel Association is a national trade group that represents different sectors in the American travel industry.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced its No Sail Order on July 16, 2020. But after a few months, the CDC decided to lift the No Sail Order and have a Conditional Sailing Order instead. The Conditional Sailing Order issued in October is a phased plan that can let cruise lines operate again. Roger Dow, president of the US Travel Association, calls CDC’s restrictions to be taking a “disproportionately heavy” toll on the travel industry.
Dow also mentioned that the cruise industry has been singled out. Dow said that it is “economically imperative” that the industry find “pathways” to reopen.
Cruise Lines International Association comprising of 95% the cruise industry called CDC unfair for the treatment they are getting. The health agency decided to shut down the industry’s operations starting mid-March last year as large ships had outbreaks. However, airlines, theme parks, and travel-related businesses are now allowed to operate with added safety protocols.
Conditional Sailing Order In Place Until November
CLIA wants the CDC to lift its order and allow phased resumption starting July. However, despite pressure from different organizations, CDC remains firm with its stance. Caitlin Shockey, the spokesperson for the agency said that the Conditional Sailing Order remains until November.
Shockey said that “returning to passenger cruising is a phased approach to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID19”.
The CDC has been adamant that people shouldn’t be traveling despite the vaccination rollout. The agency worries that the vaccines are not going to be as effective against the new variants.
The good news is that there are smaller ships are sailing again. Following CDC’s order, ships that with less than 250 passengers can operate. Some even made vaccination a requirement.
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