A vast majority of respondents to the CDC's request for public input on the resumption of passenger cruising in the U.S., about 75%, expressed support for the industry's return, the CDC said today.
The CDC on July 20 asked the public to weigh in on how cruising should resume during the Covid-19 pandemic, receiving nearly 13,000 comments in 60 days.
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The agency issued a Conditional Sailing Order that detailed a phased approach to the resumption of service.
Many were submitted by travel advisors, some heeding the call from both ASTA and CLIA to submit comments given their expertise on cruising and the significance of the industry to their businesses.
The CDC said that most of the respondents in support of cruising's resumption also "expressed the need for increased public health measures, including health screening, testing, mask use, social distancing, travel insurance, refunds and shipboard public health capacity as important steps to take before cruising resumes."
A large majority of respondents were in favor of protocols to help prevent the introduction and spread of Covid-19, such as requiring cruise lines test passengers and crew prior to embarkation (74%), cruise lines reducing passenger and crew loads (90%) and the wearing of face masks by passengers (85%).
"While CDC bases its public health determinations on the best available science and not on public opinion, the willingness of the public to accept measures to mitigate the risk of transmitting Covid-19 onboard cruise ships is noteworthy," the agency said in the report, adding that it had considered the comments in drafting its framework for the resumption of U.S. cruising.
The 25% of respondents who did not support a return to cruising now, which the CDC said included many previous cruise passengers, were in favor of delaying the resumption of passenger cruising until a vaccine is widely available and because of the current state of the pandemic.