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  1. My understanding is that skipping the simulated voyages still requires cruise lines to follow these requirements in what's being called "Restricted Voyages" under the CSO. It is also my understanding that these are required even if the cruise lines meet the 95/98% vaccination requirement. IMO, some of these are not possible (at least not with a full ship), and others essentially diminish the cruise experience to the point of it not being worth it. If you travelled to a city where 95%+ of the people were vaccinated and you still had to do these things I think we'd all call that absolutely ridiculous. Even the CDC estimates that if 70% of the population was vaccinated Covid would likely no longer be a threat. ? https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/cruise/covid19-operations-manual-cso.html I'll call out the ones I believe are the most impactful here from the various "requirements" sections. Quotes from CDC site are in plain text. My opinion is Italicized While the Order permits temporarily removing a mask for brief periods of time while eating or drinking, removal of the mask for extended meal service or beverage consumption would constitute a violation of this Order. (This means wearing a mask the whole time you're in the MDR and not currently eating) Ensure bathers wear masks while congregating outside of recreational water facilities (RWFs) and while seated on the pool deck area. Masks do not need to be worn in the water, e.g., in RWFs or while swimming in the ocean. A wet cloth mask can make it difficult to breathe and likely will not work correctly. This means it is particularly important for bathers to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet (2 meters) when in the water with others who are not traveling companions or part of the same family. Reduce the bather load for each facility to meet social distancing When social distancing of at least 6 feet (2 meters) between bathers is not possible, such as in small whirlpool spas, RWFs should be used by the same family or traveling companions only. This can be accomplished by close monitoring. (Social distancing in pools and hot tubs mean very few people will be able to use these facilities at the same time) Place seating area items located in or around RWFs, such as tables, chairs, loungers, sun beds, and poufs, 6 feet (2 meters) apart from each other to adhere to social distancing These items can be grouped together for families and traveling companions. (Again significantly reduces available capacity) Elevators and Stairwells, Limit capacity, provide floor markings, and provide marked queuing areas to eliminate congregation (Elevators were difficult to get before, with limited 6ft distancing or only 1 party/each, impossible) Change restaurant and bar layouts to ensure that all customer parties remain at least 6 feet (2 meters) apart (such as removing tables, stools, and chairs or marking any that are not for use). Limit seating capacity to allow for social distancing of at least 6 feet (2 meters). Eliminate self-service food and drink options, such as self-service buffets, salad bars, and beverage stations. (I assume you'll need an attendant for any self service like freestyle or soft serve. Or they'll be closed) Prohibit self-guided or independent exploration by passengers during port stops. Ensure all shore excursion tour companies facilitate social distancing to allow for at least 6 feet (2 meters) between individuals who are not traveling companions or part of the same family, mask wearing, cleaning and disinfection, and other COVID-19 public health measures throughout the tour. Restrict passenger attendance so that proper social distancing of at least 6 feet (2 meters) between individuals who are not traveling companions or part of the same family, and risk mitigation protocols can be met. (This one takes the cake. Can't get off the ship without paying for an excursion, and the excursion can't bring parties within 6 feet of each other. Since when does the CDC control what a person does when they get off an airplane or any other conveyance for that matter in a foreign country?) TLDR: The CDC requirement are still ridiculous, and laughable. It's as if they really don't believe the vaccines are effective. That's what these rules really suggest.
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