Cruise industry urges US to lift restrictions on international visitors
The US move to welcome vaccinated and tested international travelers in early November is good news for a cruise industry that is still trying to regain strength after prolonged rough seas. The new plan will end drastic bans on most non-citizens from entering the United States from the EU, the UK and other countries.
Foreign travelers will need to show proof of vaccination before boarding their flight to the United States. They will also need to provide documentation of a negative COVID-19 test performed within three days of their arrival.
Accepted vaccines will be determined by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The public health agency will also require airlines to collect and share passenger information for contact tracing purposes.
READ MORE: Half of Carnival’s US cruise ship fleet is back in service
Cruise officials applauded the move, led by industry organization CLIA.
âCruise Lines International Association joins our peers in the travel and tourism industry in expressing our gratitude to the Biden administration for recognizing the importance of international travel to the U.S. economy and for establishing a pathway for international visitors. to travel to the United States responsibly, âthe group said in a statement.
The cruise industry is a major draw for international visitors. In 2019, approximately 2.5 million international visitors came to the United States for a cruise, representing almost 18% of all cruise shipments in the United States. These visitors inject an average of $ 4.5 billion into the U.S. economy each year, spending on hotel stays, transportation, meals, and retail. This translates into support for nearly 60,000 American jobs.
“Our members look forward to welcoming international travelers to the United States, including from the United Kingdom and the European Union, while continuing to prioritize public health,” added the Cruise Line Association.
READ MORE: MSC Divina resumes cruise from Port Canaveral
The US Travel Association is also excited about the move, saying it will help revive the US economy.
“This is a major turning point in the management of the virus and will accelerate the recovery of the millions of travel-related jobs that have been lost due to international travel restrictions,” said Roger Dow, president and chief executive officer of the direction of the US Travel Association.
There will still be barriers to overcome for millions of international travelers inoculated with vaccines not approved by the CDC. The Oxford Astra-Zeneca vaccine, for example, has been used in 182 countries – more than any other – but is not approved by the CDC.
This will impact millions of potential cruisers from major source markets including the UK and Canada. Millions of people in the UK have received two doses of Astra-Zeneca, and many Canadians have taken a combination of Astra-Zeneca with a dose of Moderna or Pfizer. Currently, this prevents them from boarding most cruise ships departing from the United States.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was re-elected with a minority government last night, said his government is working to ensure that Canadians will be allowed to travel if they receive injections of two different vaccines, even though other countries have not approved the mix of doses.
âWe will work with the international community to ensure that people who are fully vaccinated in a way that Canadians recognize as safe and effective are also recognized around the world,â he said.