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Royal Caribbean Group CEO talks how cruise industry can overcome Delta variant threat

In:
27 Aug 2021

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain talked about the threat the Delta variant poses to the cruise industry, but also what can be done to combat its effects.

Mr. Fain started off his latest video update with the admission that the Delta variant hit the cruise industry hard, and right at the time it looked like things were going to quickly move back to normal.

"It was only a few weeks ago that we all thought that the virus was getting under control and life was gradually returning to normal. Unfortunately, the Delta variant upset all our plans."

Mr. Fain said the Delta variant has hurt cruise bookings, but has not destroyed the forward progress the cruise industry is making to get back into operations.

Mr. Fain sees a parallel between what is happening right now with the Delta variant and an important World War 2 battle, the Battle of the Bulge.

He sees the Delta variant as a sudden fight back in an enemy we had considered defeated, similar to how the Battle of the Bulge was the last offensive by the German army in the war at a time the Allies thought victory was close at hand.

"Like world war two, we're fighting a powerful and determined enemy. It's a hard battle and fighting. It is costing us heavily in casualties and in money. But it's a battle we simply can't afford to lose."

"We have no choice but to do what it takes to defeat this insidious disease. I hope and I trust that America will once again stand up and be counted."

Mr. Fain also said just like in the war, by Americans working together can the virus be defeated.

"Not only the soldiers in the field, but the entire country was united in a common goal, defeating the enemy and ending the war."

In his eyes, Mr. Fain sees two important lessons that the Battle of the Bulge taught us, "First, and I think most importantly, America can do amazing things when we work together."

"The second important similarity to the Battle of the Bulge is the ultimate outcome is clear and it's inevitable."

The way Mr. Fain sees things, the Delta variant is "a big bump in the road", but he sees a clear path forward.

"Cases are up, but that will soon peak. Hospitalizations and fatalities are up by a much lesser degree, and then mostly amongst those who have made a voluntary choice to refuse the vaccine."

"We are definitely not where we hope to be. We have taken one step back after taking two steps forward. Fortunately, more forward steps are coming."

Mr. Fain also celebrated the fact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer vaccine, and the fact he believes in a few months vaccines will be available for children as young as five years old.

"The end of this battle is in sight. But we can't let down our guard," he said right before making the bold statement, "Please wash your hands, and dammit, get vaccinated."

Royal Caribbean Group CEO: People are eager to cruise again

In:
04 Aug 2021

Speaking to investors during the Royal Caribbean Group's second quarter earnings call, Chairman and CEO Richard Fain gave an overview of his company's restart plans.

While there was another quarter of losses exceeding a billion dollars, the outlook looks far more positive with ships returning to service.

Mr. Fain was optimistic that despite issues his company faces right now, the future looks very good.

It seems Mr. Fain believes the key has been a combination of healthy sail protocols, a compelling onboard experience for guests, and strong demand for cruises, especially in 2022.

Of course, there are going to be hesitations to travel again, and Mr. Fain thinks providing customers peace of mind is the key, "We believe that the best way to get them comfortable is to demonstrate just how well the process works."

"We call that the flywheel effect. Once we get the vast majority of our fleet back online and thousands of people sailing safely, it will make even more people feel comfortable doing the same thing."

To make things safe onboard, Royal Caribbean Group identified three pillars of health and safety:

  1. Ensuring ship experiences are as safe, or safer, than the shoreside equivalents
  2. Meeting and exceeding our exacting pre-pandemic expectations
  3. Doing so in a financially prudent manner

In terms of the protocols, Mr. Fain is quite pleased with how things are going onboard, "The idea is to limit the spread of Covid-19 aboard our ships. We all know it's impossible to eliminate cases on board a ship totally, just as it's impossible to eliminate cases on land."

"But the steps that we are taking are designed to prevent the isolated cases from becoming an outbreak, and it seems to be working."

Further building on that confidence is when there are cases onboard, they are limited and isolated.

"We have had people test positive, but almost everyone around them is vaccinated, they've remained isolated cases. That's the goal where individual cases and no significant spread."

"Repeat this with a few hundred thousand or million cruisers, and that creates the trust that will drive our resurgence."

According to Fain, in the month of July (excluding Singapore sailings), an average of 92% of the people on board cruise ships were fully vaccinated and Mr. Fain believes this number is likely to rise going forward.

Strong demand

As they say, the proof is in the pudding, and Royal Caribbean Group has been surprised how many are eager to get back onboard.

"Our guests are eager to cruise again," Mr Fain said during the call. "We had hoped that there would be pent up demand for cruises, but even we were surprised by the level that we're seeing."

"It is clear people are to people are eager to travel, to take a vacation and we are ready to make their vacation dreams come true."

There is likely to be more losses still to come, but the company feels good about their chances as next year comes around.

"While the third and fourth quarter of this year will continue to be painful, it's looking generally in line with our return to service and occupancy ramp up expectations."

"We don't expect 2022 to be a normal year. However, we are seeing rapid and steady progress towards normalcy starting in the spring and summer of next year."

Delta variant

While the Delta variant has the attention of a lot of people, Mr. Fain believes it is a short-term concern, not a long-term problem.

"The Delta variant is problematic for everyone, but even this looks manageable by our extensive protocols," Mr. Fain said while addressing the concern.

"If we only obsess about the present, we will fail to prepare for the future. We must keep our eye firmly on that future that we can see is coming."

Royal Caribbean Group CEO: We should worry about Delta variant but we shouldn't panic

In:
28 Jul 2021

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO talked about the cruise industry restart process, and specifically addressed the growing concern about the delta variant of Covid-19.

In his new video update, Mr. Fain emphasized the importance science has played in providing his company with the tools it needed to safely restart cruises in a manner that was better than any store or business on land.

"We wanted to be not only just as safe as the places, we wanted to be safer," Mr. Fain said while explaining the importance of setting ambitious goals. 

"We established a goal of being safer on board than a ship on Main Street."

"We've shown that an ambitious goal can be achieved based on hard work and an unemotional review of the facts and the science."

Delta variant

With all the progress Royal Caribbean Group has made, there still lies the top concern among many today, which is the spread of the delta variant.

"The delta virus is spreading worrisomely in the United States, and in other countries. We should worry about the delta variant and the other variants that will inevitably follow."

"We shouldn't, though, panic."

Mr. Fain believes science is advancing on how to address these concerns, and also saw an ethical concern among the many people in regions of the world that want to be vaccinated, but cannot yet, such as parts of the Caribbean, South America and Africa.

"There are hundreds of millions of people who have no access to vaccines. Ethically, that should trouble us all."

"But even practically, that also presents a risk to all of us, as the unvaccinated provide an incubator for variance and for spread."

Operating safely

Mr. Fain also talked about how their restart plans have been successful so far, with more ships restarting.

The restart process is not just about turning cruise ships back on, but proving the onboard protocols can work well.

"The protocols we've developed for cruise ships prove there is another way that people can be allowed to carry on their lives without causing outbreaks. Today, we have dozens of ships operating with hundreds of thousands of guests every month."

He also pointwd out how the few cases of Covid-19 onboard did not result in everything shutting down, but instead, treated the cases and allowed others to continue enjoying their vacation, "There are a few cases of it on ships, just as there are cases on land. But they're handled smoothly without disruption."

"That's the goal to be better than it is on land. And science has provided us a path that allows people to carry on their lives while dealing simply with the few number of cases."

Royal Caribbean Group CEO celebrates cruise ships sailing again

In:
14 Jul 2021

Cruise ships are sailing again from North America and Europe, and it has the top executive at the Royal Caribbean Group quite happy.

Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO, shared a new video update with travel agents on Wednesday, celebrating that twenty one ships in his company are now back in the water and offering cruises.

Mr. Fain returned recently from sailing on Celebrity Edge and Freedom of the Seas, and sees a positive outlook for the industry, despite some challenges.

Thus far, the 21 ships sailing break down as follows:

  • 5 from Royal Caribbean International
  • 6 from Celebrity Cruises
  • 2 from SilverSea
  • 5 from TUI Cruises
  • 3 from Hapag-Lloyd

Getting so many ships back into service was no simple task, and Mr. Fain talked about how they got things moving, "I've been asked why our restart is happening so fast, how we are getting so many of our ships sailing so quickly.

"The answer is simple. We believed in our people, and we believed in the science. We prepared, we started preparing early because we knew what was happening and because we wanted to get the flywheel of demand going early."

"I've never seen the level of enthusiasm, of excitement and of gratitude that I've experienced on these cruises," Mr. Fain said after being able to sail again.

Mr. Fain saw equal enthusiasm from guests and from crew members. He said crew members saw the return of cruising as a "literal lifeline" after months of no work.  Guests celebrated the return of cruising as a way to escape all the isolation and letdowns of the past months.

The cruise industry is far from clear of any concerns or dangers to their businesses, but Mr. Fain said there will always be challenges to overcome, "There are always immediate issues. Covid-19 is not going away, but it is slowly getting under better control."

"The vast majority of people onboard our ships are vaccinated. And this percentage will only climb. In addition, the testing regimens and the available therapies mean that cruising can properly aspire to be not only as safe as other vacations, but more so."

According to Mr. Fain, that is not to say that they are disregarding thing such as the delta variant, "We shouldn't ignore the present challenges. We should be concerned about the recent increase in cases and the impact of the variants."

"We need to manage today carefully. But if we only obsess about the present, we will fail to prepare for the future and we must keep our eye firmly on that future that we can all see is coming."

Royal Caribbean Group CEO: "majority of our fleet to be back operating" before end of 2021

In:
29 Jun 2021

With a handful of Royal Caribbean Group ships sailing again, how soon will more ships be able to return to the water?

Celebrity Edge just began sailing from the United States this past weekend, and Freedom of the Seas is slated to begin cruises from Florida as well, so how soon can cruisers expect more ships to return.

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain told Bloomberg he expects a "majority of our fleet" to be operating by the end of the year.

"We really feel that it's important to get the flywheel going," Mr. Fain explained. "Our objective is to bring our ships back fairly quickly."

"I would expect the majority of our fleet to be back operating before the end of the year."

The majority of ships very likely includes other brands within the Royal Caribbean Group brand, which includes Celebrity Cruises and SilverSea.

Thus far, Royal Caribbean International has announced restart plans for 13 of its ships to sail from the United States, Europe, and England.

Quantum of the Seas has been sailing from Singapore since December 2020.

Mr. Fain added that getting enough crew members to return has not been a problem, although he did say outbreaks in certain countries added restrictions on the traditional recruitment process.  

"We do have problems because some of the countries that we recruit from, such as India, have had outbreaks, have put in place certain restrictions, but even having to overcome those kinds of problems, our crew is so anxious to get back."

According to Fain, 22,000 crew members have been fully vaccinated already.

Which Royal Caribbean ships will restart first?

Royal Caribbean has a gradual restart plan in place to bring back ships into operation.

The summer months of June, July,  August & September will see the first cruise ships returning, and more could be announced later.

Things kick off with Freedom of the Seas from Miami on July 2.

Royal Caribbean plans to resume Caribbean cruises out of Port Everglades on July 31 with Odyssey of the Seas.

Symphony of the Seas will resume departures out of Miami on August 14.

Two ships will sail from Port Canaveral this summer. Allure of the Seas will resume departures out of the port on August 8 followed by Mariner of the Seas on August 15.

Outside of Florida, Royal Caribbean will restart sailings from Galveston on Independence of the Seas on August 15.

Alaska cruises will also restart this summer with Serenade of the Seas from Seattle on July 19. Ovation of the Seas will also sail to Alaska from Seattle, beginning on August 13.

Read moreRoyal Caribbean Summer 2021 Cruise Planning Guide

Royal Caribbean Group CEO talks about vaccine and Florida's vaccine passport ban

In:
07 Jun 2021

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain has a new video update this week, where he tackles the hot button issues everyone is talking about related to cruises restarting.

Mr. Fain started out by stating he is "a very happy camper" following the restart plans that have been announced for Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises.

The predominent question over the last two weeks has shifted from "when will cruises begin?" to "how and can cruise lines require the Covid-19 vaccine?".

Mr. Fain has been a major supporter of the Covid-19 vaccines, and even went as far in his newest video to implore more Americans to get vaccinated, especially those that think they do not need to get one.

"But today, as we get vaccinated, we're not only helping ourselves, we're helping the people around us."

"Even if we don't feel that we need the protection for ourselves, we should still do it to help our friends and neighbors."

The bulk of his update was addressing if Royal Caribbean would require the vaccine, and Florida's law prohibiting businesses from asking anyone if they are vaccinated.

When Royal Caribbean announced their return to service last week, they did not say the vaccine would be required, but instead "strongly recommended" getting vaccinated.

The announcement says, "guests are strongly recommended to set sail fully vaccinated, if they are eligible."

"We want all of our guests to be vaccinated."

"We want that because we believe it makes us all safer, and we want that because our guests want that."

He pointed to survey data from cruise guests that show "the vast majority" are either already vaccinated or about to do so.

Mr. Fain admitted there are some exceptions from everyone being vaccinated on a cruise ship, such as children under the age of 12.

He did not say come out and say explicitly Royal Caribbean International would require the vaccine. Instead, he seemed to lean on the fact their data shows most adults will be vaccinated.

"Our plan, therefore, continues to be that virtually everyone who's eligible for a vaccine will have one."

"On some of our ships with fewer children, including Celebrity and SilverSeas and some Royal Caribbean international ships, we will ensure that the percent vaccinated will exceed 95 percent."

"On other ships, we expect that almost everyone over 12 will be vaccinated."

"The specifics are confusing and they will undoubtedly be movement of the various details during the coming weeks."

Florida's vaccine ban

In his first public statement about Florida's ban on companies asking for proof of vaccination against Covid-19, Richard Fain shared his thoughts about the regulation.

"This unique law only applies within Florida. While we obviously have to comply with the law of the land, we do not believe that we will have significant numbers of unvaccinated for several reasons."

Mr. Fain explained most want to be vaccinated, and the additional hurdles for the unvaccinated would perhaps be a catalyst to get them vaccinated.

"Remember, the vast bulk of our guests want vaccinations and in most cases already have them. In addition, due to the health and legal requirements of many jurisdictions, those who are unvaccinated will need to undergo additional testing and other restrictions. That necessarily adds to their cost, and adds limitations on the cruise for those people who choose to be unvaccinated."

He added that there would be no additional costs for children who are not eligible for the vaccine.

Royal Caribbean Group CEO talks about changes we can expect on a cruise this summer

In:
24 May 2021

After a few weeks absence, Royal Caribbean Group Richard Fain is back with a new update with his most optimistic outlook yet for cruises to restart.

Mr. Fain started off his video update to travel agents by stating how good things are looking, "we can now state with a high level of confidence that ships from the Royal Caribbean group will be operating out of US ports as early as next month."

Cruises restarting as early as next month follows up on the news that Royal Caribbean applied to the CDC for test cruises to begin, which Mr. Fain repeated again, "Last week, we formally submitted our request for sailing authorization to the CDC."

"We're hopeful that they will issue that permission shortly."

The opportunity for cruises to restart again from the United States is something Fain sees as the result of widespread vaccine distribution, public pressure on government officials, and a change in the relationship with the CDC.

While the cruise industry's relationship with the CDC was tenuous after some early requirements, things have changed, "over the past weeks, that level of dialogue has improved one thousand percent and that dialogue has allowed us to understand their concerns. But in addition to that, dialogue has enabled the CDC to understand our concerns."

"It has also enabled the CDC to review so much helpful data that we have acquired from our sailing's abroad."

Vaccines

Mr. Fain talked about how vaccines will work, and he said Celebrity Cruises and Silversea will follow the CDC's option to have 95% passengers vaccinated and 98% of crew members vaccinated, but Royal Caribbean International will go a different route.

Mr. Fain echoed a new policy posted on its website that says everyone who is eligible to get a vaccine will be expected to get one. However, since Royal Caribbean is so family oriented and there are often large numbers of children, he does not think reaching 95% is possible.

"On these cruises[with many children], we may not reach the ninety five percent threshold, but even here the vast majority will be vaccinated."

Health protocols and changes onboard

So what will a cruise be like once they can sail again?

"As we restart, there will be some more restrictions than before," Mr. Fain explained, "but we expect there will be temporary and similar to what we've all become used to on land.

Mr. Fain talked about what to expect, and here are some key takeaways.

  • Buffets will be full service
  • No masks for fully vaccinated, "We're optimistic that masks won't be required anywhere if you're vaccinated and since most people will be."
  • Some ares where social distancing required, but with lower capacity onboard initially, it should not be an issue.
  • Upgraded air conditioning
  • Guests will have choice of going on their own shore excursions, "In most cases, our guests can also arrange their own excursions and these will be regulated by by local rules."

These updates are exactly what Celebrity Cruises announced last week for what guests could expect, and a good sense that those rules are going to be the reality.

Royal Caribbean Group CEO: "We will not need to be wearing masks" on cruise ships

In:
24 May 2021

Everyone wants to know what the health protocols will be like on a cruise ship when they restart sailings, and it appears expectations are changing.

With Royal Caribbean quietly changing its Covid-19 vaccine requirements on its website over the weekend, it appears the cruise line is preparing to pivot some of its onboard policies based on the changing science we see in the world today.

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain was interviewed by the BBC over the weekend, and he spoke about a few topics related to cruise ship restart plans, including wearing a mask.

Having to wear a mask on a cruise ship has been one of the most polarizing topics among cruise fans and if they feel comfortable going on a cruise ship and wearing one.

Mr. Fain was asked if mandatory mask wearing as set to continue, "as the vaccine is rolling out, and certainly in the cruises from the States where pretty much everybody will be vaccinated on board, I think you're right."

"I think we will not need to be wearing masks. And I think very quickly we'll be going back to cruising, which will be virtually indistinguishable from what it was two years ago."

Mr. Fain pointed out that on the limited cruises that have been able to operate with masks required onboard (such as Quantum of the Seas), guest satisfaction levels are actually higher than they were before in a regular cruise.

"Not sure I can explain that," quipped Mr. Fain.

Last week, Celebrity Cruises told travel agents fully vaccinated passengers are not required to wear masks inside or outside while maintaining a safe distance from other passengers.

Unvaccinated guests, such as children, would need to wear a mask in certain situations, such as walking between venues.

Royal Caribbean has not announced a similar policy change yet on its ships, but did say masks will not be needed at all at Perfect Day at Cococay.

Even the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has relaxed some of its mask requirements for cruise ships recently.

On May 12, the federal agency said fully vaccinated passengers are no longer required to wear a mask outside.

Mr. Fain also talked about the role of vaccines on cruises, and dismissed the idea a vaccine passport would be needed, but did mention there are other options to use.

"I don't think we're talking about a vaccine passport. I think we are talking about people who are vaccinated. There are lots of different ways to show that."

"In terms of one of these computerized passports, we're certainly not seeing that in the States and in other countries, there are different forms that we'll be looking at."

The topic of having to show proof of a vaccine has been contentious in certain states, such as Florida, where businesses are prohibited from asking customers to show proof of a vaccine.

Royal Caribbean Group CEO on 2021 Alaska cruises: "reason for some hope"

In:
30 Apr 2021

Is the Alaska cruise season not totally dead for 2021?

During Royal Caribbean Group's first quarter earnings call on Thursday, Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain was asked about the prospect of return to Alaska for this year, and while "slightly complex", he did not rule it out.

The Alaska cruise season faces two hurdles: the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ban on cruise ships, as well as Canada's own ban on cruise ships from its waters.

Mr. Fain said even if the CDC relents on its ban, they would need would need a waiver from the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA), or Canada would have to allow at least technical stops.

The Passenger Vessel Service Act (PVSA) of 1886 requires foreign flagged cruise ships to call on a foreign port if sailing a closed-loop cruise form the United States.

This means, cruise ships cannot sail from Seattle and only visit Alaska ports.  It must make a stop outside the country, and Canada is the only place between Seattle and Alaska for that.

The justification for both the PVSA is to protect the U.S. Merchant Marine (the licensed (officers) and documented (trades) personnel on the ships) and to protect U.S. shipyards that both build and repair the ships.

Mr. Fain said during the earnings call that Royal Caribbean and "others" are working on resolving the issue with the CDC and Canada, "we're working on both and others are working on both, but we can't be certain where that will end up."

"I think given the momentum, there's reason for some hope, but that's a sufficiently complex and confusing situation that I don't think we're going to put odds on it one way or the other."

"But as to Alaska specifically, while we're optimistic and we're working to make that happen, there are these other factors."

"We do think that will be in time for the Alaskan season. And we're obviously hopeful that we'll be able to solve the issue with Canada in either one of these two ways."

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both R-Alaska, introduced a bill in late February 2021 that proposes alleviate the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) restrictions for cruise ships transporting passengers between the State of Washington and the State of Alaska.

The Alaska Tourism Recovery Act (H.R.1318) was introduced in the House on February 24, 2021 and was referred to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation the next day.

When the bill was introduced, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley posted on social media in support of the bill, "If passed, this would represent a step in the right direction for the Alaskan communities that depend on the tourism industry."

"If you support the bill, please reach out to your representatives to make your voice heard!"

So far, that bill has not moved past that point.

Besides Royal Caribbean's lost cruise revenue, the state of Alaska is facing dire consequences for a second cancelled cruise season in a row.

Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy (R-AK) said over the course of the lost 2020 and 2021 cruise seasons, Alaska will have a $3.3 billion loss in Alaska, "that's in a state with about a fifty six billion dollar GDP, so it's going to be significant."

"We're going to lose millions of dollars in local revenue for our communities, especially along the coast. Unemployment rates will remain stubbornly high when we can actually lower them through this process."

Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean's Alaska cruises are not cancelled yet.

Royal Caribbean did remove bookable Canada-related cruises from its website, but existing bookings are still on hold.

Royal Caribbean talks about CDC letter and what it means for kids

In:
29 Apr 2021

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain started off his call with Wall Street analysts with extremely positive news regarding a new update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Late last night, the CDC provided cruise lines with an update that opens up the possibility of cruises to restart this summer.

Mr. Fain said the letter is an example of "a significant improvement in the extent and the quality of our dialogue with the CDC."

According to Fain, the CDC has recently significantly increased its efforts in terms of improved communication between the cruise industry and the federal agency.

The updates were described as "very constructive clarifications and the amplifications" which addressed many issues Royal Caribbean had with the Conditional Sale Order (CSO). These are the same instructions that were described by the cruise industry as "unduly burdensome, largely unworkable" when they were first announced.

Mr. Fain sees the new update from the CDC as a major step forward, "We believe that this communication really helps us to see a clear and achievable pathway forward to a safe and healthy cruising in the near future."

Cautious optimism

While the news very welcomed by the cruise industry, Mr. Fain was quick to point out there are still questions to sort out.

"There are still a great many details to be provided in the future and others that need to be resolved. We need to be cautious about all of those. Nevertheless, we now have high hopes that these details can be resolved quickly."

However, Mr. Fain did not rule out a July restart, "It could be possible to restart cruising by mid-July."

"I would also emphasize that the restart does not mean that we will immediately go into full operation. We are hopeful about restarting. That restart will be gradual and deliberate."

Equal treatment

Another positive outcome from this letter is what Mr. Fain sees as a shift in how the CDC treats the cruise industry.

Fain was happy with the tone of the letter, and the CDC's increased communication, "We are pleased that the CDC letter really does reflect an intention to treat us similarly to other industries in similar circumstances."

"Our goal throughout this pandemic and then to make a cruise ship where we can control the environment safely and Main Street, USA. We've already demonstrated our ability to do that, and we are now eager to resume life, as so many other businesses are doing."

What about kids?

While the CDC has opened up the possibility for cruise ships to restart this summer, many cruise fans realized requiring 95% guests to be vaccinated means little to no children onboard in the short term.

During the earnings call with analysts, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayely spoke about what to expect as it relates to kids.

Both he and Mr. Fain cautioned the letter is new, and there are follow up questions to determine, but Bayley felt kids are not out of the question, "We really do have to sit, study and and discuss with the CDC and understand all of these these different nuances."

Mr. Bayley believes the age restriction for kids, which now stands at 16, will be lowered shortly, "We've been told that in the coming weeks and months that that age limit will likely drop to 12. And and we're encouraged by that."

So what about kids below 11?

Mr. Bayley said that age range is not enormous, "obviously we carry a lot of kids 11 and under, but relatively speaking, as a percentage of our total guest counts, it's quite a small number. So we're not overly concerned with that."

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