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Secretary Raimondo Statement on Extension of Conditional Sailing Order for Cruises


Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo issued the following statement in response to new guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the extension of the Conditional Sail Order (CSO) governing cruise travel that will now expire on January 15, 2022.

After a year and a half of close collaboration between cruise line partners and the federal government, this major milestone is another proof point that we are well on our way to a full economic recovery as we will build back better from this pandemic,” said Secretary Raimondo. “The cruising industry, and the travel and tourism sector more broadly, is vital to our economy and our ability to compete on the world stage. By working with the cruise industry throughout the pandemic we were able to bring much needed commerce to America’s tourism-dependent regions, while also keeping passengers, communities, and crew members safe. As the Conditional Sailing Order sunsets this January, the Commerce Department will continue to work with our partners to keep this critical industry afloat in a way that puts the health and safety of all Americans first and foremost.”

Travel exports, like those produced by the cruise industry accounted for 9.2% of all U.S. exports, 26.7 % of all U.S. service exports, and supported more than one million American jobs in 2019. However, the cruise industry, and the travel and tourism sector more broadly, were disproportionately devastated by the pandemic.

Secretary Raimondo has worked closely with the travel and tourism industry throughout the pandemic, establishing interagency partnerships, participating in expert working groups, and facilitating ongoing engagement with businesses and leaders across the country. Raimondo has continued to advocate for safe re-opening of America’s travel and tourism in a way that put the health and safety first. Moreover, countless leaders from the CDC, Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), and major cruise lines worked expeditiously to implement the necessary precautions to save the summer 2021 cruise season. After a safe and successful summer and fall, the CSO expiration will allow the industry to continue its journey out of the pandemic.

Yesterday, Secretary Raimondo recognized and thanked those in the travel and tourism industry that have made this moment possible through their resilience and continued engagement throughout the pandemic. 

Last month, she met with the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB) to discuss how to accelerate the recovery and growth of the travel and tourism industry. During that meeting, the Secretary stressed the importance of employers requiring proof of vaccination for employees and encouraged the industry to think creatively about how to incentivize customers to get vaccinated in order to further accelerate the sector’s recovery.