Royal Caribbean CEO, after months of cajoling, praises CDC’s new path to resume U.S. cruises – CNBC

Royal Caribbean CEO, after months of cajoling, praises CDC’s new path to resume U.S. cruises – CNBC

Royal Caribbean CEO Richard Fain on Thursday cheered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated coronavirus policies for resumption of cruises from U.S. ports.

“We’re really very pleased and very excited because it really does set forth a pathway that we think is achievable, practical and safe,” Fain said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.”

Asked specifically if the CDC guidance means Royal Caribbean and other cruise operators will be back sailing from the U.S. this summer, Fain replied, “I think it may.”

In a letter to the industry Wednesday, a CDC official said that while cruising “will never be a zero-risk activity,” the health agency is “committed” to getting passenger operations in the U.S. restarted by midsummer.

The industry has been pressuring the Biden administration and the CDC for months to provide more specifics on a path back to departing from American ports. The state of Florida earlier this month sued the federal agency over the cruise halt, as well.

While cruises have started back up in other parts of the world, they have been paused in the U.S. since March 2020 over coronavirus concerns. Ships were home to high-profile Covid outbreaks in the early days of the global health crisis.

Among the most critical components to the CDC’s new guidance is around vaccination levels for passengers and crew. In order to restart sailing, the CDC had said previously that cruise operators would need to complete a simulated trip to
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