On September 30 the CDC made a final update to the No Sail Order, stating that if the conditions above were not met cruise lines could resume sailing October 31, 2020. So, what does that mean at the beginning of November?
The CDC released what it calls a Conditional Sailing Order on October 30, 2020. But just because cruise lines are allowed to resume sailing does not mean that passengers are eagerly flocking to cruise ships. It also doesn’t mean that cruise lines are allowed to resume sailing however they wish. There are multiple stipulations, most importantly that cruise lines must complete simulated voyages before they are issued a COVID-19 Conditional Sailing Certificate. These voyages will be conducted with volunteer passengers over the age of 18 who have clearance from a healthcare provider. They must provide written proof that they are not at high risk for COVID-19. The simulated voyages must include embarkation and disembarkation procedures, on board activities including dining and entertainment, shore excursions, evacuation procedures, transfers of symptomatic persons to isolation rooms, and quarantine of remaining passengers and crew. Essentially, the cruise lines must prove that they meet the CDC’s requirements and guidance for safe sailings.