Norwegian Unveils Plan to Resume U.S. Cruises on July 4

Norwegian says it will combine vaccination requirements with 'multiple additional layers of protection against COVID-19.'
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Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings  (NCLH) - Get Report said Tuesday it submitted a plan to U.S. health officials to restart cruising from U.S. ports beginning July 4, part of two-pronged plan to emerge from the COVID-19 shutdown.

Shares of the Miami company were up 1.82% to $30.25 in premarket trading. They closed up 7.3% in the previous session.

Norwegian said it submitted a proposal to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlining its plan, which includes universal COVID-19 testing prior to embarkation, and asking the CDC to lift its conditional sail order.

"Vaccine requirements will be combined with multiple additional layers of protection against COVID-19 introduction, including universal testing, and we will continue to evaluate and modify protocols over time as the science dictates,” Frank Del Rio, president and CEO, said in a statement.

Roughly 106.2 million people in the U.S., or about 40.3% of the over 16 population, were at least partially vaccinated as of April 4, according to CDC data. About 61.4 million people, or 23.3%, are fully vaccinated.

Jim Cramer, TheStreet.com's founder, interviewed Del Rio on Monday's episode of Mad Money.

The Centers for Disease Control issued new guidelines late last week that said fully vaccinated Americans can travel to and from domestic destinations without quarantine, and do not need a COVID-19 test provided they wear a mask and maintain social distancing.

The conditional sail order also requires cruise lines to establish agreements at ports where they intend to operate, implement routine testing of the crew and develop vaccination strategies.

The Cruise Lines International Association issued a statement Monday calling the guidelines "unduly burdensome, largely unworkable."

Royal Caribbean  (RCL) - Get Report also will resume sailing some of its cruises from the Caribbean in June with vaccinated adult guests.

Last month, Norwegian, Carnival  (CCL) - Get Report and Royal Caribbean received price-target increases from J.P. Morgan, based on the prospect of economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The cruise ship industry was one of the first industries to feel the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with outbreaks of the potentially deadly disease occurring onboard ships infecting passengers and crew members.