April 2, 2021: The long-anticipated CDC update for cruise did not mention a date for resumption. It did, however, put great responsibility on the lines for operating safely. And it required that all port personnel and travellers receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

Among the stipulations were:

  • Cruise ship operators must document the approval of all U.S. port and local health authorities where the ship intends to dock or make port in order to receiving and retaining a COVID-19 Conditional Sailing Certificate.”
  • Presentation of proposals regarding how the cruise ship operator intends to incorporate vaccination strategies to maximally protect passengers and crew from introduction, amplification, and spread of COVID-19.
  • Embarkation screening and onboard protocols, including medical evacuation at sea for COVID-19 reasons. Protocols must rely on commercial resources (e.g., ship tender, chartered standby vessel, chartered airlift) for medical evacuation at sea and be designed to minimise the burden on federal, state, and local government resources. []