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It’s been a long time coming but, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has finally given cruises the green light to set sail again, but one thing will be different, passengers will not be on board.

On Friday, the CDC lifted the no-sail ban and implemented “a list of new health protocols and a ‘framework of actionable items’ for cruises to follow beginning Nov. 1,” People reported. As the order recommends a phased approach towards passengers’ safe return, it is clear passengers will not be expected on board immediately.

Both the CDC and the cruise industry have a shared commitment to protect crew, passengers, and communities, and this new framework is their first step in doing so.

According to CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D, ” this framework provides a pathway to resume safe and responsible sailing. It will mitigate the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks on ships and prevent passengers and crew from seeding outbreaks at ports and in the communities where they live.”

Once cruise lines agree to additional testing and social distancing requirements, mock voyages are expected in the future.

A mock voyage is simulated and simply done to “mitigate COVID-19 risk among passengers, crew members, and communities” by using volunteers pretending to be passengers.

Upon meeting the above requirements, cruise companies will then receive certification that will put them on track to have passengers return.

The CDC and the cruise industry “will continue to work together to ensure that all necessary public health procedures are in place before cruise ships begin sailing with passengers.”




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‘Impossible to trace.’ Tech savvy dad may be holding daughter captive in WA, cops say

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A father accused of kidnapping his teenage daughter 17 months ago could be holding her captive in Washington, but his technology skills are making it hard for authorities to find him, officials say.

Authorities say John Oliver Westbrook kidnapped his daughter, Daphne Westbrook, 17, in October 2019 from Chattanooga, Tennessee, according to a news release posted on Facebook by the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office in Tennessee.

Investigators say Westbrook is holding Daphne against her will and they’re struggling to locate them because he is “an IT expert specializing in security, block chain technology and bitcoin.”

Brooke WolfordFri, March 5, 2021, 5:41 AM