July 16 — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday extended its order for cruise ships to stay docked or at sea through the end of September as coronavirus cases spike in the United States.
The “no sail” order extends one first issued March 14 and lasts until Sept. 30. The previous ban was set to expire July 24.
Under the CDC extension, cruise ship operators are barred from starting new trips or allowing passengers and crew who are now at sea to disembark at U.S. ports or stations unless allowed by authorities.
CDC Director Robert Redfield said there were a confirmed 2,973 COVID-19 cases and 34 deaths on cruise ships before officials halted all cruises and evacuated passengers.
On June 19, the Cruise Lines International Association announced it was voluntarily suspending all cruise operations from U.S. ports until Sept. 15. The organization represents more than 50 cruise lines and more than 95 percent of global cruise capacity.
“Although we are confident that future cruises will be healthy and safe, and will fully reflect the latest protective measures, we also feel that it is appropriate to err on the side of caution to help ensure the best interests of our passengers and crewmembers,” the CLIA said at the time. “The additional time will also allow us to consult with the CDC on measures that will be appropriate for the eventual resumption of cruise operations.”
The CLIA said that for each day that cruise operations are suspended in the United States, there is a $110 million loss in economic activity.