The agency recently released a questionnaire to gauge the public's opinion on returning to the high seas.

By Alison Fox
July 28, 2020
Advertisement

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is asking the public for input in its decision on when to recommend cruise ships sail again.

Last week, the agency put out a request through the Federal Register “to inform future public health guidance and preventative measures relating to travel on cruise ships.”

"The questions were developed by CDC subject matter experts to inform future public health guidance and preventative measures relating to travel on cruise ships," a spokeswoman for the CDC, told USA Today.

The request for comment consists of a 28-question survey, including what future cruisers they think ships should do to prevent transmission of the virus, how frequently passengers and crew should be tested, and how cruise ships handle potential travel restrictions that pop up.

"We welcome the CDC’s request for information related to the eventual restart of cruise operations in the U.S. and look forward to working together to determine the best path forward," Bari Golin-Blaugrund, the senior director for strategic communications for Cruise Lines International Association, a trade group for the cruise industry, told USA Today.

The CDC also wants to know what future customers think about reducing passenger capacity. Carnival Cruise Line has said it likely won’t sail at full capacity until at least 2022.

Comments can be submitted online or by mail by Sept. 21.

The request comes as several cruise lines have canceled itineraries through the fall and winter. Princess Cruises has suspended sailings for most of its ships through December while Royal Caribbean has extended its pause in operations into September.

The call-out to the public also follows the CDC’s decision earlier this month to extend its “No-Sail Order” until the end of September for “cruise ships with the capacity to carry at least 250 passengers in waters subject to U.S. jurisdiction,” which was originally implemented in March.