CDC COVID-19 Orders for Cruise Ships

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CDC issued an Order that requires face masks to be worn by all travelers while on public transportation, including all passengers on board and all personnel operating maritime conveyances traveling into, within, or out of the United States. Masks are also required at all U.S. transportation hubs, including seaports and ferry terminals. For more information on this mask requirement, see the Frequently Asked Questions.

Framework for Conditional Sailing Order for Cruise

May 5, 2021 Update

On May 5, 2021, CDC released the next two phases of the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) for cruise ships operating or seeking to operate in U.S. waters. CDC published technical instructions for cruise ship operators preparing to conduct simulated (“trial”) voyages in advance of restricted passenger voyages under a COVID-19 Conditional Sailing Certificate. With the issuance of these next two phases, cruise ship operators now have all the necessary requirements and recommendations they need to start simulated voyages before resuming restricted passenger voyages and apply for a COVID-19 conditional sailing certificate to begin sailing with restricted passenger voyages. CDC may adjust these requirements and recommendations based on public health considerations and other factors.


April 2, 2021 Update

On April 2, 2021, CDC released a new phase of the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (issued October 30, 2020external icon) for cruise ships operating or seeking to operate in U.S. waters. CDC published technical instructions for cruise ship operators and for local health authorities outlining this phase of the Conditional Sailing Order.


October 30, 2020 Update

On October 30, 2020, CDC issued a Framework for Conditional Sailing Order. This Order is effective upon signature and was published in the Federal Registerexternal icon on November 4, 2020.

This Order shall remain in effect until the earliest of

  • The expiration of the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ declaration that COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency,
  • The CDC Director rescinds or modifies the order based on specific public health or other considerations, or
  • November 1, 2021.

See the attached Order (print-only) pdf icon[PDF – 40 pages] for the full requirements.

Previous No Sail Order for Cruise Ships

September 30, 2020 Update

On September 30, 2020, CDC extended the No Sail Order and Suspension of Further Embarkation; Third Modification and Extension of No Sail Order and Other Measures Related to Operations that was issued on July 16, 2020. The Order was effective upon signature and published in the Federal Registerexternal icon on October 5, 2020.

See the attached Order (print-only) pdf icon[PDF – 29 pages] for the full requirements.


July 16, 2020 Update

On July 16, 2020, CDC extended the No Sail Order and Suspension of Further Embarkation; Notice of Modification and Extension and Other Measures Related to Operations signed by the CDC Director on April 9, 2020—subject to the modifications and additional stipulated conditions as set forth in this Order. The Order was effective upon signature and published in the Federal Registerexternal icon on July 21, 2020.

See the attached Order (print-only) pdf icon[PDF – 20 pages] for the full requirements.


April 9, 2020 Update

On April 9, 2020, CDC renewed the No Sail Order and Other Measures Related to Operations Order signed by the CDC Director on March 14, 2020—subject to the modifications and additional stipulated conditions as set forth in this Order. The Order was published in the Federal Registerexternal icon and effective as of April 15, 2020.

See the attached Order (print-only) pdf icon[PDF – 9 pages] for the full requirements.


March 14, 2020 Update

The CDC Director issued a No Sail Order for cruise ships effective March 14, 2020 due to the risk cruise ship travel introducing, transmitting, or spreading COVID-19. CDC commended the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the leading industry trade group, for their willingness to voluntarily suspend cruise ship operations from U.S. ports of call beginning on March 13, 2020 for the next thirty (30) days. The Order was published in the Federal Registerexternal icon.

See the attached Order (print-only) pdf icon[PDF – 7 pages] for the full requirements.