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The CDC says cruise ships can resume operating in U.S. waters—perhaps by mid-July—if the cruise lines meet certain requirements, such as proving that 95 percent of a ship’s guests and 98 percent of the crew are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Those conditions were spelled out in a letter the CDC sent to cruise industry leaders clarifying parts of the CDC’s Framework for Conditional Sailing Order.

"We acknowledge that cruising will never be a zero-risk activity and that the goal of the CSO’s phased approach is to resume passenger operations in a way that mitigates the risk of COVID-19 transmission onboard cruise ships and across port communities," Aimee Treffiletti, head of the Maritime Unit for CDC’s COVID-19 response, said in the letter to cruise line leaders.

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