Friction between the cruise ship industry in the US and the Centers For Disease And Control prevention (CDC) is showing no sign of easing.
Cruise industry executives met with health experts and White House staff last week following criticism of the CDC guidelines on restarting voyages.
The CDC said that passengers and crew would need Covid-19 vaccine shots and more frequent testing, but would not supply a timeline on when it intended to lift its ban on cruises.
The Cruise Ship Industry, which did not qualify for any US Covid-19-related relief because all of the major international cruise ships have a flag in another country, appears to be losing patience.
Carnival Corp said bluntly that the CDC instructions were “unworkable”. It said that it might have to change the home ports of its cruise ships to other parts of the world if the US did not allow it to start sailing. This in turn has generated friction between Florida and Washington, with the state the beneficiary of a considerable amount of cruise-related income and having a large number of cruise ships treating Floridian locations as their home port.
The CDC would only say that it wanted to restart sailing in “a phased approach”
The Cruise Lines International Association said in response that “we welcome the CDC’s expressed commitment to working with the cruise industry… to address the changes in the science, including the impact of vaccines, that will move us toward our shared goal of responsibly resuming operations this summer”.