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CDC reviews Nov. 1 'no sail' order amid pandemic push from cruise industry to change 'outdated' rule

The Cruise Lines International Association urges the health agency to change what it calls an outdated order and date for business resumption.

The Cruise Lines International Association is pressing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reassess the current state of the pandemic. It wants the CDC to update a no sail order, set to expire Nov. 1, which was put in place last year.

In a Wednesday statement from the cruise association, the group references President Joe Biden's call to states to make sure every adult is eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine by May 1, 2021.

The CDC's "Framework for Conditional Sailing Order," extended last year, states that there will be a suspension of further embarkation for cruise lines in the country until Nov. 1 of 2021, or until the Secretary of Health and Human Services declares that COVID-19 no longer constitutes a public health emergency, according to the CDC's website

When asked for comment, the CDC reiterated the no sail order remains in effect until Nov. 1 and that "Returning to passenger cruising is a phased approach to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19. Details for the next phase of the CSO are currently under interagency review."

Credit: AP
File - Cruise ships docked at a Miami port, Tuesday, March 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Cruise Lines International Association President and CEO Kelly Craighead said the CDC guidance, "does not reflect the industry's proven advancements and success operating in other parts of the world." 

Craighead added that, "Over the past eight months, a highly-controlled resumption of cruising has continued in Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific—with nearly 400,000 passengers sailing to date in more than 10 major cruise markets. These voyages were successfully completed with industry-leading protocols that have effectively mitigated the spread of COVID-19."

The push from the cruise industry comes as much of the travel industry at large eagerly awaits a return to normalcy. 

In February, Delta's CEO Ed Bastian blasted a statement by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg who said that the Biden administration was floating the idea of requiring COVID-19 testing as a requirement for air travel. Bastian told CNN it was "a horrible idea," that would be a "logistical nightmare." 

RELATED: Delta CEO blasts Buttigieg announcement floating COVID-19 testing requirement for US flights

Buttigieg made the comments during an interview for Axios on HBO. It doesn't appear the idea has gone much beyond that. Buttigieg said "CDC is looking at all its options," in regards to the testing requirement for the airline industry. 

It's unclear if any changes of the current Framework for Conditional Sailing Order would include a COVID-19 testing requirement for passengers.

The Cruise Lines International Association is the world's largest cruise industry trade association.

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