Press Release | January 13, 2022

CLIA Statement on the Transition of the Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) to a Voluntary Program

The transition of the Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) to a voluntary program effective January 15 recognizes the cruise industry’s unwavering commitment to providing some of the highest levels of COVID-19 mitigation found in any industry. Cruise is the only segment of travel and tourism that requires, prior to embarkation for both passengers and crew, exceedingly high levels of vaccination (approaching 100% compared to only 63% on land in the U.S.) and 100% testing of every individual (over 20 times the rate in the U.S.).

When cases are identified as a result of the high frequency of testing onboard, cruise ship protocols help to maximize onboard containment with rapid response procedures designed to safeguard all other guests and crew as well as the communities that the ships visit. Further, cruise is the only sector that continuously monitors, collects, and reports case information directly to the CDC.

Given this oversight and the uniquely high vaccination rate required on board, the incidence of serious illness is dramatically lower than on land, and hospitalizations have been extraordinarily rare even while landside hospitalizations are peaking. CLIA ocean-going cruise line members will continue to be guided by the science and the principle of putting people first, with proven measures that are adapted as conditions warrant to protect the health of cruise passengers, crewmembers, and destinations.

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