The CDC says that cruises could start departing from US waters by mid-July, according to a letter sent by the CDC to the cruise industry late Wednesday and obtained by USA Today.

According to the report, that timeline is based on the cruise lines’ compliance with the CDC’s Framework for Conditional Sailing, which sets guidelines that cruise ships will need to meet in order to resume operation in US waters. The CDC has authority over US ports and can regulate the cruise industry based on health concerns. For this reason, several cruise lines, including Disney and Royal Caribbean, have chosen to sail out of foreign ports of call this summer. Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas will call Nassau in the Bahamas its home port. The Disney Magic will offer sailings starting in June from the UK (this is specifically for residents of the UK only).

The article quotes a representative of the trade group CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) who says that they are “optimistic that these clarifications show positive progression.”

This marks the first time since the start of the conditional No-Sail Order issued last March that the CDC has given anything close to a specific timeframe when cruises may resume.

Currently, Disney Cruise Line has canceled all sailings through June 2021, giving a ray of hope to those who have sailings booked for July. We’ll continue to update this story as it develops.

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