Crew completing clearance aboard one of the cruise ships in Manila - courtesy of the Philippine Coast Guard

USA - CDC Provides Updated Guidance Helping Cruise Ship Crew Reparations

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide an important update on its guidance for the cruise lines designed to help with the repatriation efforts of crew members during the suspension of service. Coming more than ten weeks after cruise ships stopped sailing, it may be late but it is still expected to help the efforts to return idle crew to their homes.

Most of the information provided by the CDC in its June 1 update continued the earlier advice provided to the cruise lines. According to the CDC, the information is designed to help the cruise lines prevent, detect, and medically manage confirmed and suspected COVID-19 infections, as well as exposures among crew members during periods of suspended cruise ship operations.

The most significant change provided by the CDC is a new color-coded guidance system that established parameters and the level of restriction based on the ship’s current status. The CDC is also saying that it may publish the surveillance data from this system on its website to inform the public.

Individual cruise ships can now earn a “green” status if it has “no confirmed cases of COVID-19 or COVID-like illness for 28 days, as determined by a qualified medical professional.” The ship is also required to limit ship-to-ship transfers of crew to ships with similar status and to quarantine for 14 days any individuals coming aboard from shore to maintain the green status.

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