A ‘no sail’ order imposed on US cruise lines due to Covid-19 has been extended by a month until October 31.
Reports had suggested that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wanted the order be extended until February 15, 2021.
However, the new edict in a 29-page document from the CDC came as cruise industry body Clia in the US volunteered to continue to suspension of sailings until the end of October.
The CDC had previously extended the order first made in March, to April, July and September “to protect public health”.
A Clia US spokesperson said: “We look forward to engaging in a thoughtful and productive dialogue with our partners and regulators in the United States to return to cruising in the region.”
The latest move follows cruise lines putting forward series of health and safety protocols as part of lobbying efforts to allow a return of operations. These include crew and passenger testing, the wearing of masks, enhanced cruise ship ventilation, stringent response procedures and shore excursion protocols to make it safe to sail during the pandemic.
Efforts are also being made in the UK to persuade the government to lift its ban on cruising from British ports at a time when limited sailings have resumed in the Mediterranean by companies such as MSC Cruises, Costa and Tui Cruises.
Clia president and chief executive Kelly Craighead said: “Based on what we are seeing in Europe, and following months of collaboration with leading public health experts, scientists, and governments, we are confident that these measures will provide a pathway for the return of limited sailings from the US before the end of this year.”
The extension of the US cruise ban came as the CDC revealed 3,689 confirmed cases of the virus on cruise ships and 41 deaths between March 1 and September 28.
The data also showed a total of 102 outbreaks on 124 ships, meaning more than 82% of ships within US jurisdiction were affected by Covid-19 during this time.
Four vessels still have “ongoing or resolving” Covid-19 outbreaks on board.
“Recent outbreaks on cruise ships overseas continue to demonstrate that reduced capacity alone has not diminished transmission,” the CDC said.
This highlighted the need for “further action prior to cruise ships safely resuming passenger operations in the United States”.
CDC said it supported a decision by Clia and its members to voluntarily extend the suspension of operations for passenger cruise ship travel through to October 31.
“CDC further supports the decisions of numerous cruise ship operators that have voluntarily cancelled scheduled voyages involving US ports beyond the date specified by Clia, including Cunard, Crystal Cruises, Holland America, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruise Lines, Viking Ocean Cruises and Windstar Cruises.
“However, because not all cruise ship operators subject to the no sail order are members of Clia or have made similar commitments, CDC is extending its no sail order to continue to protect the public’s health by ensuring that passenger operations do not resume prematurely.”
This is a community-moderated forum.
All post are the individual views of the respective commenter and are not the expressed views of Travel Weekly.
By posting your comments you agree to accept our Terms & Conditions.