Over a year after issuing a No Sail order in the U.S. for the cruise industry, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering lifting the ban.

In a letter to the cruise industry sent late Wednesday that was obtained by USA Today, the agency said sailing could restart in U.S. waters by mid-summer.

The letter from Aimee Treffiletti, head of the CDC’s Maritime Unit within the Global Mitigation Task Force for COVID-19, read, in part: “We acknowledge that cruising will never be a zero-risk activity and that the goal of the CSO’s phased approach is to resume passenger operations in a way that mitigates the risk of COVID-19 transmission onboard cruise ships and across port communities.”

The CDC issued a No Sail order for the cruise industry in March 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic after some ships were considered superspreaders of the virus. The order was extended as a Conditional Sailing Order in October 2020 through November 2021, which cruise officials had requested the CDC consider lifting early based on the safety measures they had made to their operations to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Since the pandemic hit, cruise lines have undergone a massive overhaul of their operations, implementing safety protocols to prevent the spread of the virus on board their ships. Many cruise lines, such as Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, among others, are requiring passengers and crew to be fully vaccinated to board their ships and sail with them.

Caitlin Shockey, a CDC spokesperson, gave USA Today a more specific timeline on when cruise lines would be able to resume sailings in the U.S., saying that cruises could begin in mid-July, depending on the pace and compliance with the CDC’s Framework for Conditional Sailing Order.

Under the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order, cruise lines would need to verify that 98% of crew members and 95% of passengers are fully vaccinated in order to bypass test cruises, The Wall Street Journal said.

Shockey continued by saying, “CDC looks forward to continued engagement with the industry and urges cruise lines to submit Phase 2A port agreements as soon as possible to maintain the timeline of passenger voyages by mid-July.”

While the CDC has tentatively set a resume to cruising timeline, it does come with a series of restrictions that it does expect the companies to meet before setting sail again. Recommendations from the agency include vaccinations for crew and passengers, simulated voyages, testing and quarantine requirements for passengers and crew upon embarkation, and quarantine guidelines for passengers exposed to or those that contract COVID-19, USA Today reported.

COVID testing requirements upon embarkation would allow for rapid testing instead of a polymerase-chain-reaction test, and quarantined passengers that were exposed or contracted the virus would be allowed to drive home if they are within a reasonable driving distance, the WSJ reported.

The easing of the sailing ban would kick off the start of the cruise industry that has sat idle in U.S. waters for over a year. The consideration by the CDC to lift the sailing pause also comes as Florida sued the government over the ban in early April.

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line The Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line's MS Grand Celebration, the Bahamas Relief Cruise, is seen moments before leaving the Port of Palm Beach in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Sept. 16, 2019. Photo: Getty Images/ ZAK BENNETT