The world has changed significantly since March 2020. In the past year, millions have been infected with COVID-19, and many deaths resulted. But with recent vaccinations, a light glimmers at the end of the very long COVID tunnel. People are starting to consider travel again –specifically, cruising.
Cruise lines suspended their operations in March of 2020. Since then, the CDC has provided a framework for cruise lines to resume operations. Even with CDC standards implemented, how can you be certain it’s safe to sail again?
Here’s what you need to know about cruise safety in a post-COVID world, including the steps some cruise lines are taking to ensure cruisers feel secure on vacation.
Cruise Line Requirements to Set Sail Again
In order for cruise lines to hopefully resume sailing at some point this year, strict standards have been set. A few of imperatives for cruise lines to resume include:
Each cruise line must be able to quickly screen passengers for COVID-19 before they embark. They must also have a plan and facilities so that, if any passengers test positive while onboard, they can properly isolate and treat them.
The CDC requires cruise lines to adhere to certain cleaning procedures, like disinfecting frequently touched surfaces on the ship. Cruise lines will be expected to reserve enough space for passengers to socially distance. They must also require masks in common areas of the ship.
Many cruise lines are doing trial sailings to test the new procedures.
When Should You Go?
If you’re itching to get back to the sea, but your health and safety are also a priority, there’s a lot to consider. Many experts think cruise lines will not return to sailing until it can be done safely. After all, one mistake could lead to serious consequences.
For the most part, if you’re planning to cruise in 2021, you will most likely need:
Proof of Vaccine or Negative COVID Test
Some cruise lines have already issued statements for when they do resume cruising. Passengers over 18 will need to provide proof of a COVID vaccine before boarding. Anyone under 18 will need to provide proof of a negative COVID test.
It’s a great idea to get additional travel insurance for these still-uncertain times. Most policies cover cancellation due to illness. They’ll also cover medical expenses or necessary evacuations. Expenses can add up quickly, so make sure you have insurance before you go. It’ll provide peace of mind if anything does go wrong.
The future of cruising remains up in the air, but you can be sure of one thing: when it does return, it’ll feel better than ever. Sure, you may see more simplified itineraries and fewer people on board, but those are small concessions. Aren’t they worth it to reach some semblance of “normal life” after this tumultuous year?
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2020 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2017, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019.