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NCL, Oceania, Regent opt in to CDC's new voluntary COVID-19 mitigation program

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings became the first company to publicly announce it has opted in to the CDC's new voluntary COVID-19 mitigation program for cruise ships.

This applies to Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, which notified the CDC of their decision on Friday.

As first reported here, the new program comes into effect after the conditional sailing order expires June 15. Industry sources have told Seatrade Cruise News all lines are expected to opt in.

'The health and safety of our guests, crew and communities we visit is our number one priority. We have demonstrated this commitment since our return to service in July of last year, with protocols that exceeded those required by regulatory agencies, including 100% vaccination of guests and crew, universal testing of all guests prior to embarkation and routine testing of all crew,' NCLH President and CEO Frank Del Rio said.

Voluntary program provides assurance

Del Rio added: 'Our adoption of the voluntary program provides guests, crew, travel partners and other stakeholders with the assurance that our brands will continue to meet and exceed the provisions laid out by the CDC and provide unparalleled health and safety protocols not found in any other sector of the travel and leisure space.'

The company’s SailSAFE Global Health and Wellness Council, chaired by former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, continues to advise NCLH on protocols in light of advancements in medicine and technology to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Gottlieb briefed travel advisors and media on the Omicron variant and other COVID matters in a webinar Thursday.

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