The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released comments from the public following its call for feedback on the possible resumption of cruising.
At the end of July, the CDC called on the public to submit opinion, comments and questions on the cruise sector. Currently more than 1,000 comments have been made public.
The majority of comments are in support of the resumption of cruising, with many claiming the sector has been “unfairly targeted”.
One comment said: “I sure wish you [CDC] would get on the ball and help get the cruise lines sailing again. Millions of dollars are being lost. Thousands of jobs are lost and you all are just delay, delay, delay.”
Another said: “It would appear the cruise line industry has done more, and on a consistent basis among many lines, to make their businesses safer and healthier for their guests than I’ve seen from airlines, airports, hotels, long-term care facilities, resorts and more. My experience is that, on cruises that I’ve taken, they have been cleaner, and have a greater focus on health and safety, than any of the aforementioned.”
Conversely, one comment said the industry would need to “regain and maintain trust”, while another stated cruising “as we know it” could not resume “until a vaccine is available”.
Some comments highlight protocols and measures cruisers would like to see introduced, including for cruise lines to consistently screen crew members on board and onshore; to require cruisers to provide proof of a negative test 72 hours in advance of boarding; and to regularly screen passengers.
Other suggestions highlight a need for a “rapid screening process” for passengers returning from shore visits, and swift action to isolate crew and passengers should they test positive.
Last month, the CDC extended its no-sail order to the end of September, but many major cruise lines have confirmed the suspension of operations to October and beyond.
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