CDC Extends "No Sail Order" For Cruise Industry

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Roatan, Honduras – As if things couldn’t get any worse for the cruise lines, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) extended the “No Sail Order” for cruise ships yesterday. This news brings more uncertainty to the cruise line industry, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take hundreds of lives worldwide.

Norwegian Getaway Roatan Excursions
The Norwegian Getaway Parked at The Port of Roatan

The Cruise Ban Order

The cruise ban order by the CDC extends to cruise ships currently at sea, with protocols on returning cruise line passengers to the mainland. The order will stay in effect until one of three things occur:

  • Federal health officials determine the end of the public health emergency
  • The Centers for Disease Control  director rescinds or modifies the order
  • 100 days pass after the date of the order’s publication in the Federal Register
Thus, this order indefinitely suspends any cruise ship travel till at least July 2020. The CDC continues to say it’s working with the cruise line industry, and the ban is necessary in protecting Americans and other passengers. The CDC is requesting further cooperation and response planning by the cruise lines and their representative association CLIA.
 

In a statement, the CDC said, “There are several public health concerns when crew members become ill while on board the cruise ships. As we have seen with the passenger illness response on cruise ships, safely evacuating, triaging and repatriating cruise ship crew has involved complex logistics, incurs financial costs at all levels of government, and diverts resources.”

The CDC is requiring that the cruise companies “develop a comprehensive, detailed operational plan” approved by both the CDC and the Coast Guard. It is to include “a fully implementable response plan with limited reliance on state, local and federal government support.”

When asked about the CDC extension, Royal Caribbean replied on Twitter, “We’re aware of the CDC order and are studying how best to respond to its provisions. Our global sailings are currently suspended through May 11, 2020.”

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