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CDC releases new coronavirus guidelines for cruise ships

Christian Fernsby |
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will start assigning cruise ships a color coded status to aid with the disembarking stranded crew, the agency announced this week.

Topics: CDC   

The new system which will use green, yellow, or red statuses will dictate how and when the crew can disembark ships based on the status of coronavirus infections and how long the ship has been isolated.

If a ship is considered “Green,” it means there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 or similar illness for 28 days, and crew will be allowed to fly home via commercial transportation. That is a change from April when the CDC prohibited passengers or crew from boarding a commercial flight upon disembarking and said it was the cruise line’s responsibility to arrange a chartered flight or other private transportation.

“Yellow” ships have one or more cases of coronavirus-like illness pending a test, and “Red” ships have one or more confirmed cases of coronavirus or COVID-like illness within the past 28 days. For “Yellow” and “Red” ships, cruise lines can arrange private transportation to repatriate crew.

Additionally, the CDC requires cruise lines designated “Yellow” or “Red” to relocate onboard crew to single-occupancy cabins with private bathrooms, cancel face-to-face employee meetings, and close public spaces like gyms.

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