US CDC guidance to allow cruise lines to apply for trial trips with volunteer passengers
New CDC guidelines say fully vaccinated Americans don't need to wear masks outside, except in crowded settings
As of Tuesday, nearly 30% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated and more than 42% have received at least one dose, according to CDC data.During a White House briefing, public health officials said fully vaccinated individuals can unmask while walking, running, hiking or biking outdoors alone or with members of their household.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the final guidance on Wednesday for cruise lines to apply to run test trips with volunteer passengers, signifying a step closer toward normalcy for the industry.
The simulated cruises would be designed to test the cruise lines' COVID-19 precautions before ships would be permitted to return with paying travelers to U.S. waters for the first time since shutting down in March 2020.
The CDC suggests that cruise lines submit the necessary information and request the agency's approval for any test cruises at least 30 days ahead of the departure.
Republicans accuse Biden CDC of laundering union talking points on school reopenings
Republicans and conservatives criticized the close ties between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Federation of Teachers following news that the teachers union's lobbying may have stymied the return of students to the classroom. © Provided by Washington Examiner “The teachers unions have been lobbying and were able to change CDC guidance for school reopening,” the head of the conservative FightForSchools.com, Ian Prior, said during a conference call hosted by the Republican National Committee on Monday.
"With the issuance of these documents, cruise ship operators now have all the necessary requirements and recommendations they need to start simulated voyages before resuming restricted passenger voyages," the guidance reads.
Cruise lines can skip the step of trial trips if they require at least 95 percent of passengers and at least 98 percent of crew members to be vaccinated.
For the simulated cruises, the CDC requires at least 10 percent passenger capacity and last two to seven days long. Excursions can only involve tours with passengers and crew from the same ship with participants wearing masks and social distancing.
Participants do not need to be fully vaccinated, but if they are not, they have to provide a note from a health care provider saying they aren't at risk for severe COVID-19. They also have to agree to be checked for symptoms before getting on and off the ship and have to be tested three to five days after disembarking.
France honors Paris teacher who saved jogger's life
PARIS (AP) — The French government gave a medal Monday to a math teacher-volunteer fighter who used CPR to save the life of a jogger in a Paris park, a gesture that has drawn national attention to the importance of first aid training. The jogger’s wife, Paris-based Associated Press journalist Lori Hinnant, helped identify the anonymous rescuer by putting up thank-you signs in Monceau Park, where her husband Peter Sigal went into cardiac arrest on April 28.
The CDC requires at least one test cruise be conducted for every ship that plans to take paying customers. After the ships conduct their trial runs, the cruise lines can apply for a COVID-19 conditional sailing certificate to travel with paying customers.
The new guidance is a part of the CDC's Framework for Conditional Sailing Order, which has operated as a phased approach to reopening and was first implemented in October after the no-sail order ended.
The CDC's framework initially detailed more than 70 steps the cruise lines would need to follow to bring on paying passengers for trips before the final set of protocols were released on Wednesday.
It also follows after the CDCto cruise lines last week saying they could resume sailing as soon as July. The letter was first obtained by and .
After CDC loosens mask guidance, some governors scramble to rewrite state policies .
The surprise announcement prompted a patchwork of responses, from immediate rollbacks of mask rules to a wait-and-see approach.Some officials took swift action. Minnesota’s governor said he would end his state’s mask mandate on Friday, less than 24 hours after the CDC’s announcement, although the mayor of Minneapolis said his city’s indoor mask requirement would remain. The governor of Illinois said he would revise his state’s mask rules to match the revised CDC guidance; Pennsylvania’s Department of Health said the same, with Pennsylvania Democratic Gov.