The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been providing updated guidance for the cruise ship industry during the COVID-19 pandemic in its Interim Guidance During the Period of the No Sail Order.
As the date set for the expiration of the no-sail order draws closer, there is continuing and revised guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Topics Covered by the CDC Interim Guidance During the Period of the No Sail Order
The Interim Guidance During the Period of the No Sail Order addresses in considerable detail the following matters pertaining to the COVID-19 virus:
- Preventive measures
- Asymptomatic crew members (disembarking for transfer or repatriation)
- Symptomatic crew members (identification and isolation)
- Discontinuation of isolation
- Discontinuation of quarantine
- Disembarking crew members to obtain medical care
- Medical management
- Cleaning and disinfection
Most Recent Revised Guidance Contained in the CDC Interim Guidance During the Period of the No Sail Order
As reported by USA Today, the most recent updates to the CDC guidance include a new color-coded system directly related to the ship’s status relative to certain COVID-19 and related illness criteria. The coded colors are generally based on the ship’s number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, COVID-19 status for ship-to-ship transfers, and quarantine status of land-based crew that has embarked. The guidance also refers to submission of an Enhanced Data Collection (EDC) form to the CDC.
Green Ship Status
Green status means that CDC believes that the ship is currently not affected by COVID-19. A weekly Enhanced Data Collection (EDC) form must be submitted to the CDC in order to maintain this status.
To satisfy the Green criteria, ships must have:
- No confirmed COVID-19 cases or COVID-like illnesses reported for 28 days
- Ship to ship transfers for the past 28 days must been from ships with no confirmed COVID-19 cases or COVID-19-like illnesses reported for 28 days prior to the transfer
- Immediate 14-day quarantine for land-based crew upon embarking the ship
Yellow Ship Status
Yellow status applies when:
- Status was previously Green, but one or more COVID-19 or COVID-19-like illness cases are pending testing. Depending upon test results, negative or positive (as well as no results available within one week of the case being reported), the status will change to Green or Red, respectively.
- For ship-to-ship transfers, crew members must have come from a ship with no confirmed COVID-19 or COVID-19-like illnesses within 28 days prior to the transfer or the status changes to Red.
- Immediate 14-day quarantine for land-based crew upon embarking the ship must have occurred, or status changes to Red.
Red Ship Status
Red status is conferred if:
- There have been one or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 or like illness within the past 28 days.
- Ship to ship transfers have occurred form a ship that had confirmed COVID-19 or COVID-19-like illness within 28 days before the transfer.
- Land-based crew that embarked were not immediately quarantined for 14 days.
- The ship failed to submit one or more EDC forms during the prior 28 day
The ship’s color-coded status determines which preventive measures will be required on the ship, and the extent of these preventive measures, if applicable.
The CDC Guidance also provides procedures for ships requesting to use commercial transportation.
For more information about the CDC Guidance, or other matters related to the cruise industry and COVID-19, contact the Kolodny Law Firm.