Royal Caribbean Execs Positive on CDC Developments, Protocols Could Ease

Quantum of the Seas

With the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Conditional Sale Order (CSO) expiring, it shows the agency's confidence in the industry., according to Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group, speaking on the company's year end and fourth quarter earnings call.

"A few weeks ago, the prescriptive CDC (CSO) expired, demonstrating the agency's confidence in the overall effectiveness of the health and safety protocols of the cruise industry. Our own protocols continue to go above and beyond anything the framework provided and what consumers will find in any hospitality setting," Liberty said. "We continue to engage with the CDC and other public health agencies as we look to adjust our COVID-19 risk mitigation measures in response to the changing nature of the virus."

Long-term, protocols on the ships may be eased, said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International.

Working with the CDC when the time is right, Bayley said: "We'll start removing many of the protocols that exist today, and it will become easier and simpler for our customers. Just as a point of reference, around 10 million customers visit our Royal Caribbean International website every month, and around 400,000 or so visit our healthy sail section of that. And you can see as people's anxiety either raises or decreases, then obviously, that number raises and decreases,

"So we're feeling quite positive about where we're going with this. We also believe that in the not-too-distant future, the CDC Level 4 will be downgraded to Level 3, and I think that will also be another positive step in the right direction."

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