What will happen if a cruise operator in U.S. waters sees a single positive COVID-19 case aboard? A full ship quarantine seems to be the likely option, according to the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order issued by the CDC at the end of October.
Operators sailing in U.S. waters will need a Conditional Sailing Certificate, meaning they met new stringent CDC guidelines and are operating with strict health and safety protocols.
The Framework for Conditional Sailing Order states that in case of a positive COVID-19 case, a cruise line must first notify passengers and crew, and then immediately end the future. It also may be forced to cancel future voyages as directed by the CDC. The ship also most return to the U.S. port of embarkation.
And a full ship quarantine is likely the case, as the CDC’s order said that the ship must immediately isolate “any sick or infected passengers and crew in a single occupancy cabin with private bathrooms and quarantine all remaining passengers and non-essential crew.”
Disembarkation then must follow new yet-to-be-seen CDC guidelines, and will involve noncommercial transportation, although the CDC does not specify whether that is for all guests or just possible COVID-19 infected guests or those that have had contact with he infected passenger(s).