Cruise operators could restart travel outside the U.S. in mid-July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, paving the way for resuming operations that have been suspended for more than a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The CDC, in a letter to cruise industry leaders Wednesday night, also said that cruise ships can proceed to passenger travel without test cruises if they testify that 98% of the crew members and the 95% of passengers are fully vaccinated. The move was the result of twice-weekly meetings with cruise ship representatives over the past month, the agency said.
Under the conditional sailing order established in October, cruise operators were required to conduct test cruises and request a certificate at least 60 days before offering passenger cruises. The CDC said Wednesday that it would now review and respond to requests for simulated trips within five days. The CDC also relaxed testing and quarantine requirements for passengers and crew. For early passenger travel outside of the US, fully vaccinated people can now take a rapid test on boarding instead of a polymerase chain reaction test, the CDC said. Passengers will be able to self-quarantine at home if they are a short drive away, the agency added. An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com. Most popular on WSJ.com: Biden cites progress, pushes economic agenda forward. Opinion: Your money awakened is not good here.