The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted industries all over the world. Though, few industries have been hit harder than passenger cruise lines. On March 14th, 2020 federal regulators issued a ‘No Sail Order’—preventing commercial passenger cruises from operating in American waters in an effort to protect public health and safety.
On October 30th, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that the ‘No Sail Order’ will be allowed to expire. As of November 1st, 2020, regulators are using a phased-based approach to allow passenger cruises to re-open. Here, our Houston cruise ship injury attorneys highlight the key things to know about the CDC’s guidance.
An Overview of CDC Guidelines Safe and Responsible Cruise Ship Passenger Operations
Although the COVID-19 ‘No Sail Order’ is expiring, things are not returning to normal. Quite the contrary, there will be a gradual re-opening process for cruises. The CDC has issued a Framework for Conditional Sailing Order that will allow for a so-called phased approach to the resumption of passenger cruise ship operations in the United States. Here are four things you should know about the CDC’s guidance:
- The new guidelines create an action-focused framework to allow passenger cruises to restart, while also protecting passengers and employees from COVID-19;
- The CDC order applies to all ships operating in U.S. jurisdiction that have the capacity to carry 250 cruise passengers;
- During the first step of phase-in, a cruise ship company must prove that it is prepared to adhere to testing, quarantine, and social distancing guidance; and
- Cruise ship operators must conduct successful “simulated voyages” to prove their capacity to provide a safe trip for passengers and crew members.
It will likely still be a bit of time before passenger cruises actually resume in the United States. Ultimately, companies have a responsibility to protect the safety of their passengers. Cruise operators should take proactive steps to ensure that passengers are properly protected from the health threat posed by the COVID-19 virus.
Southeast Texas Port Authorities Support Resuming Cruise Ship Operations
Southeast Texas is one of the country’s top regions for cruise lines. With nearly 1.8 million passengers annually, the Port of Galveston is the fourth most popular cruise port in the United States. In light of the CDC guidance, it appears that local leaders will work to facilitate the resumption of cruises. Indeed, officials have expressed their support for resuming passenger cruise operations. As reported by the Galveston County Daily News, Port of Galveston authorities followed up the CDC’s guidance by announcing their intention to “bring back safe, sustainable cruising.”
Call Our Texas Cruise Ship Accident Lawyers for Immediate Help
At the Kolodny Law Firm, our Texas cruise ship accident attorneys are knowledgeable, results-driven advocates for clients. If you or your loved one was harmed on a cruise ship, we are more than ready to help. Contact us today for a free, no obligation review of your cruise ship accident claim. From our Houston office, we represent victims and their families throughout the entire region.