'The conditional sail order and the fact the industry has stepped up and is now interested in doing and exceeding the compliance with the sail order without the order even necessarily needing to be in place is a real testimony to how well that has worked and how we've worked collaboratively with the industry,' Walensky said during testimony Tuesday.
'We anticipate the order will not be renewed'
'With ships following the conditional sail order, I do anticipate we still will do the oversight and watch and do all the technical assistance ... We anticipate this order will not be renewed and that the cruise ship industry will continue to understand this is a really safe practice ...' Walensky continued, in response to questioning from Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
The CSO is set to expire Jan. 15, and the agency previously indicated it would likely become voluntary after that.
Walensky noted that over the last two weeks there's been a 30-fold increase in COVID-19 cases on cruise ships due to Omicron. Cruise Line International Association has stated that is far fewer than the increase shoreside in the US.
Just two weeks ago, CDC issued a warning against all cruise travel, regardless of Americans' vaccination status.