CDC extends Conditional Sailing Order through Jan. 15

The CDC extended its Conditional Sail Order (CSO), through January 15, 2022, citing continued spread of Covid-19's delta variant and breakthrough cases among fully vaccinated persons.
The CSO was scheduled to expire Nov. 1.

The CDC stated that it will transition to a voluntary program with cruise ship operators when the CSO expires. This voluntary program is designed to help the industry detect, mitigate, and control the spread of Covid-19 to ships.

According to the CDC, the CSO was not extended in any major changes. It also stated that it doesn't consider the extension to impose "any new burdens, obligations, or restrictions on cruise ship operators" when compared with the previous CSO.

The CDC acknowledged that cruise lines have resumed passenger operations since November 2020's issuance of the CSO. They had also "successfully created and implemented safety and health protocols to manage Covid-19, which have prevented overcrowding onboard medical facilities from causing unnecessary burdens to shoreside hospitals."

"But, due to the spread of the Delta variant, emergence other Covid-19 variants, breakthrough cases among fully vaccinated and additional surges in cases and deaths, CDC has decided that a temporary extension is required for foreign-flagged cruise ships operating international itineraries.

CLIA commented on the news and stated that it was a sign that both the CDC and the Biden administration recognize the successful resumption by the cruise industry.

CLIA stated that they look forward to continuing to demonstrate the industry's leadership in the final phase of CSO and to smoothening the transition when the order ends on 15 January 2022.

The CSO will end on January 15th or the expiration of the Secretary Health and Human Services' declaration declaring that Covid-19 is a public emergency.

The CDC stated that the CSO and the accompanying measures were non-binding recommendations for cruise ship operators in Florida as of July 23. They are also not binding. Cruise ships sued the CDC regarding the CSO. However, nearly every Florida cruise line has voluntarily complied with the CSO.