Two of the largest cruise ships in the world received CDC's approval to start "simulated voyages".
RCI-Royal Caribbean International confirmed on Thursday, June 3, that its Allure of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas ships had received permission from the USA's CDC agency to start test cruises.
The two liners are the second and third Royal Caribbean ship to get approval for test sailings, following Freedom of the Seas which was allowed to sail from June 20.
Both Allure OTS and Symphony OTS are the first Oasis-Class vessels to get test cruise approval and are the biggest to date with approval from the Centers to conduct simulated sailings.
Royal Caribbean President and CEO Michael Bayley confirmed the news on Facebook.
Allure OTS will commence her test cruises from Port Canaveral FL from July 27 through July 29.
Symphony OTS will commence her test sailings from PortMiami FL from August 1 through August 3.
Royal Caribbean International issued a statement confirming what Bayley posted:
"We are encouraged to see our ongoing work with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to progress on all fronts. Allure and Symphony of the Seas, two of the world’s largest cruise ships, are the latest in Royal Caribbean International’s fleet to be approved for simulation cruises. The ships will follow Freedom of the Seas and embark on their simulation sailings on July 27 and August 1, respectively. "
"Cruise testers" have to be adults (18+ years of age) but are not required to be vaccinated against the COVID, though if they are not, they must have written documentation from a health care provider or have to self certify that they are not at a heightened risk for COVID, the CDC said.
All volunteers must agree to be evaluated for COVID symptoms before embarking, as well as after disembarking along with an agreement to be tested for COVID 3 to 5 days after the cruise.