The USA's Congress passed the first cruise industry regulations in a decade on Friday, December 11, which include requiring a registered doctor on every cruise vessel, as just one provision of the USD 740 billion national defense bill approved by the US Senate.
The bill includes the Cruise Passenger Protection Act (that makes it mandatory for passenger ships to have a trained physician onboard) as well as installing security cameras in all public places.
With the passage of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act, the last cruise shipping-related regulations adopted by US Congress came back in 2010. The Act only required each ship to have a registered nurse and also directed the USCG (Coast Guard) to publish crime statistics for liners and required cruise companies to install technology to monitor when crew and passengers go overboard. The legislation was amended in 2014 to require all crimes to be reported and the information to be made public on the US Department of Transportation's website.
Note: For CruiseMapper's accidents on passenger ships see at our CruiseMinus hub).
The industry’s lobbying group CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) supported the new regulations, spokeswoman Bari Golin-Blaugrund announced. According to CLIA, the industry had suffered billions of dollars in losses. Hundreds of thousands of people had lost their jobs since operations had been suspended in March when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Ship cruising is not expected to resume until February/March 2021 at the earliest.
Crew and passengers remain fearful of illness outbreaks that could leave them stranded onboard.