Norwegian Cruise Lines company is trying to get permission from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to resume trips from U.S. ports on July 4. They are expecting passengers and crew members to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at least two weeks before the journey.
The Miami-based company stated that their precautions go far beyond those taken by others in the leisure and travel industries that have already reopened, such as hotels, restaurants, and airlines. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd intends to start US sailings at 60% capacity, rising to 80% in August and 100% in September. The company also runs Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises.
On Monday, the company’s stock rose 6%, causing competing cruise lines’ stock to rise as well. Carnival Corporation saw gains of almost 5% and Royal Caribbean Group gained over 3%.
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CEO Frank Del Rio outlined the request in a letter to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, head of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since March 2020, the CDC has banned cruise ships from entering US ports with a no-sail ban, after outbreaks on many ships around the globe.
The CDC revised its guidelines on Friday, stating that fully vaccinated individuals can fly inside the United States without being screened for the coronavirus or being quarantined. They also provided more technical information about its conditional project to enable cruise ships to dock in US ports, but it did not specify when cruise lines could sail.
Nonetheless, Walensky cautioned, saying she would “advocate against general travel over all” because of the increasing number of infections.
The CDC said on Monday that they are “committed to working with the cruise industry and seaport partners to resume cruising” in a phased manner. “Cruising safely and responsibly during a global pandemic is difficult,” the department said, complaining about new COVID-19 variants.
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