CDC Extends No Sail Order on Cruise Ships Through September 2020

July 17, 2020, 8:58 AM HST · Updated July 18, 1:44 PM
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Holland America Line’s Eurodam at Kahului Harbor. PC: file photo 3.10.20 by Wendy Osher.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced today the extension of a No Sail Order for cruise ships through Sept. 30, 2020.

The order continues to suspend passenger operations on cruise ships that have the capacity to carry at least 250 passengers in waters subject to US jurisdiction.

Cumulative CDC data from March 1 through July 10th, shows 2,973 COVID-19 or COVID-like illness cases on cruise ships, in addition to 34 deaths.  These cases were part of 99 outbreaks on 123 different cruise ships.

During this time frame, 80 percent of ships were affected by COVID-19, according to the CDC. As of July 3, nine of the 49 ships under the No Sail Order have ongoing or resolving outbreaks, the agency reports.

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According to US Coast Guard data, as of July 10, 2020, there are 67 ships with 14,702 crew onboard.

The Cruise Lines International Association made a decision on June 19 to voluntarily extend the suspension of operations for passenger cruise ship travel until Sept. 15, 2020. In line with CLIA’s announcement, CDC has extended its No Sail Order to Sept. 30, to ensure that passenger operations on cruise ships do not resume prematurely.

“On cruise ships, passengers and crew share spaces that are more crowded than most urban settings,” the CDC explained in a press release announcement.  “Even when only essential crew are on board, ongoing spread of COVID-19 still occurs. If unrestricted cruise ship passenger operations were permitted to resume, passengers and crew on board would be at increased risk of COVID-19 infection and those that work or travel on cruise ships would place substantial unnecessary risk on healthcare workers, port personnel and federal partners (i.e., Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Coast Guard), and the communities they return to.”

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