Cruise Industry Cheers U.S. Plan to Lift Restrictions on International Visitors

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced it will lift restrictions on international travelers to the United States, which could bring in billions of dollars for the tourism industry.

The cruise restrictions 2021 is a plan that the U.S. government has announced to lift restrictions on international visitors, allowing them to visit the country without a visa for up to 90 days.

The United States’ decision in early November to accept vaccinated and tested foreign passengers is excellent news for a cruise sector still struggling to recover from extended rough seas. Most non-citizens from the EU, UK, and other countries will no longer be barred from entering the United States under the new proposal.

Before boarding a trip to the United States, foreign passengers will be required to provide evidence of immunization. They’ll also have to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test done within the last three days before they arrive.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States will decide which vaccinations are acceptable. Airlines will also be required to collect and disclose passenger information for contact tracing by the public health agency.


READ MORE: Carnival’s U.S. Cruise Ship Fleet Has Returned to Service

CLIA, the cruise industry’s trade association, applauded the decision.

“Cruise Lines International Association joins our peers in the travel and tourism sector to express our gratitude to the Biden Administration for recognizing the importance of international travel to the US economy and for establishing a path for international visitors to travel responsibly to the US,” the group said in a statement.

For foreign tourists, the cruise sector is a major attraction. In 2019, over 2.5 million foreign tourists came to the United States to take a cruise, accounting for roughly 18% of all cruise embarkations in the country. Each year, these tourists spend an average of $4.5 billion in the United States on hotel accommodations, transportation, meals, and shopping. This equates to almost 60,000 employment in the United States. 

“While continuing to prioritize public health, our members look forward to welcome foreign passengers back to the United States, including those from the United Kingdom and the European Union,” the cruise trade group said.

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READ MORE: MSC Divina Returns to Port Canaveral Cruising

The US Travel Association is also pleased with the decision, claiming that it would aid in the recovery of the American economy.

“This is a watershed moment in the virus’s control, and it will hasten the recovery of the millions of travel-related jobs that have been lost due to foreign travel restrictions,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the US Travel Association.

Millions of foreign travelers who have been vaccinated using vaccinations that have not been authorized by the CDC will still face challenges. For example, the Oxford Astra-Zeneca vaccine has been used in 182 nations, the most of any vaccine, yet it is not authorized by the CDC.

Millions of prospective cruisers from major source markets such as the United Kingdom and Canada will be affected. Millions of people in the United Kingdom have received two doses of Astra-Zeneca, and many Canadians have received a combination of Astra-Zeneca plus either Moderna or Pfizer. As a result, they are now unable to board most cruise ships leaving from the United States.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, who was re-elected with a minority administration last night, has said that his government is trying to guarantee that Canadians would be able to travel if they receive injections from two separate vaccinations, even if other countries have not authorized combining dosages.

He added, “We’re going to engage with the international community to make sure that individuals who are properly vaccinated in methods that Canadians accept as safe and effective are recognized throughout the globe.”

The when will us travel ban be lifted is a question that has been asked many times. It is still unknown when the restrictions on international visitors will be lifted, but the cruise industry is cheering it on.

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