By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — Cruise ships may be back in business by mid-July – if a very high percentage on board have received the coronavirus vaccine. The Centers For Disease Control said in a letter to cruise ships obtained by CBS News they can only operate if 98% of the crew and 95% of passengers are fully vaccinated.

The CDC said it’s impossible to eliminate all health risks on ships, but the goal is to mitigate that risk. The high requirement for vaccinated passengers and crew comes with loosened testing and quarantine requirements, according to CBS News.

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The pandemic has had a devastating effect on the industry. Royal Caribbean reported a $1.1 billion loss in the first quarter.

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In Boston, Massport says hundreds of thousands of passengers typically pass through Flynn Cruiseport every year for holiday cruises or to visit Boston as a port of call.

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The cruiseport brought in more than 400,000 passengers for the first time in 2019, as well as 138 cruise ships. Staff