PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. – Cruise ships may sail again before the year is over after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced it will let the current no-sail order expire at the end of the month.
The current no-sail order for passenger cruise ships will expire on Saturday and ship operators can then begin a phased resumption of operations in U.S. waters, according to the CDC.
On Friday, the agency released the framework for conditional sailing and COVID-19 testing requirements for the industry.
“CDC will ensure cruise ship operators have adequate health and safety protections for crew members while these cruise ship operators build the laboratory capacity needed to test future passengers,” conditional framework reads.
The first phase will include virus testing for all crew members and ensuring operators have safety measures in place for testing locations on ships. Later phases will include simulated voyages to test safety measures and the risk of COVID-19.
The first no-sail order was issued in mid-March and later extended three more times during the past seven months.
Several cruise lines have already canceled sailing for the remainder of the year, including Disney Cruise Lines. Carnival Cruise Line canceled November cruises from Port Canaveral and Miami.
Port Canaveral recently reported a $18 million loss for this budget year due to halted cruise operations.