The USA's CDC agency (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) added 2 more guidelines for cruise shipping companies to follow before voyages in the USA can return.
The government agency implemented new rules and protocols in a couple of areas: screenings of new cruise passengers and screenings of travelers taking consecutive / back-to-back cruises (B2Bs).
The new recommendations apply to test sailings, which all cruise lines have to undergo before fully returning to cruising, and revenue cruises while the CSO (Conditional Sail Order) is in effect.
Previously this week the Centers updated its guidance on shore excursions and face masks (vaccinated or not, passengers do not have to wear masks when they are outside and when engaging in most activities).
The CDC now requires cruise companies to look for symptoms / signs of COVID and screen for a close contact exposure to a person with COVID within the past 14 days.
Guests with signs / symptoms of COVID could still go on the cruise in case they are fully vaccinated but denied boarding in case not fully vaccinated and without documentation of recovery.
Those who have a known close contact exposure during the past 14 days will be denied boarding in case they are not fully vaccinated.
Fully vaccinated passengers don't need to be tested on embarkation day, disembarkation day, or going on a back-to-back voyage. While testing at embarkation is not required, international travelers arriving in the United States are recommended to be tested 3-5 days following arrival, including the ones who are fully vaccinated.
The unvaccinated will need to take Viral (NAAT / antigen) tests for embarkation day, disembarkation day, and in case doing a B2B.