The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Royal Caribbean cruise ship could begin sailing again in June after over a year of U.S. cruising being suspended, according to Reuters.
The ship will begin cruising June 26 from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, the first to depart with paying passengers in over a year, according to Reuters.
After 15 months of hard work and collaboration, @RoyalCaribbean has received CDC approval for simulated cruises on #FreedomoftheSeas in June. This is the latest promising step to return to sailing in the U.S. We look forward to seeing our crew and loyal guests this summer. ????
— Royal Caribbean PR (@RoyalCaribPR) May 25, 2021
The ship is requiring passengers and crew members to get vaccinated beforehand. Anyone over 16 years old must show proof of vaccination to board the ship. Beginning August 1, everyone ages 12 and older is required to show proof of vaccination, even though Florida banned vaccine passports, the outlet reported.
The CDC plans to begin a phased approach to allow cruising to resume, according to Reuters. (RELATED: Luxury Cruise Ships Scrapped As Coronavirus Batters The Industry)
“CDC and the cruise industry agree that the industry has what it needs to move forward and no additional roadblocks exist for resuming sailing by mid-summer,” the CDC said Wednesday.
The CDC also said that cruise ships may section off areas to be designated for fully vaccinated passengers where masks are not required, according to Cruise Industry News.
Florida and Alaska sued the Biden administration in attempt to negate the CDC’s decision to disallow cruises from resuming. The lawsuit was sent to mediation, according to Reuters.
In the U.S. alone, the cruise industry has lost $77 billion and over 160,000 jobs due to the pandemic, according to CBS News.