Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), a Washington DC-based global cruise industry trade association, urging the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to revoke the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO).
Revocation of the framework is needed to revive the cruise ship market from US ports starting in early July, according to estimates of the new normal implementation as stated by President Joe Biden, after being caught in the COVID-19 pandemic for the past year.
Kelly Craighead, President and CEO of CLIA, said that over the past eight months cruises in Europe, Asia and the South Pacific have sailed back with nearly 400,000 passengers, while in the US they are still suspended following CDC rules.
In fact, cases of COVID-19 in water are much lower than on land and other modes of transportation. That’s proof that the cruise ship industry can handle deterrence well.
“Our members continue to follow a layered approach to improving health and safety that has proven effective in making cruises one of the best options for travel,” says Craighead.
Therefore, the CDC should have withdrawn the framework which resulted in a ban on sailing from US ports to date in order to revive the industry. Moreover, President Biden targets to vaccinate all adults until May 1.
CLIA says operating cruise ships from the US cannot be ignored because the industry contributes to a very large economy: supporting 450,000 domestic jobs and generating revenue worth more than US$55.5 billion per year.
During the pandemic, according to research firm BREA, more than 300,000 jobs in the US were lost due to suspension of cruise ships. Those who are directly affected are travel agency staff, port officers, baggage handlers, hotel and restaurant workers, etc.