It’s time to drop anchor, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.
While some cruise ships with Covid-19 patients are still looking for ports, the CDC is extended it no-sail order for 100 days or until the pandemic is deemed over, Theresa Norton of Travel Pulse reported.
The order will remain in place until one of three situations occurs: The Secretary of Health and Human Services’ declares the Covid-19 public health emergency is over; the CDC director rescinds or modifies the order; or 100 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register, the report said.
Cruise lines halted operations voluntarily on March 14 and many companies have extended their suspensions, the report said.
In announcing the no-sail order, the CDC said in a statement that “cruise ship travel markedly increases the risk and impact of the Covid-19 outbreak within the United States.”
In recent weeks, at least 10 cruise ships reported crew or passengers that tested positive or experienced respiratory symptoms or influenza-like illness. Currently, the CDC said, there are approximately 100 cruise ships remaining at sea off the east, west and Gulf coasts, with nearly 80,000 crew onboard, the rpeort said.
Additionally, the CDC said 20 cruise ships at port or anchorage in the US have known or suspected Covid-19 infection among the crew who remain on board, the report said.
The CDC, the US Coast Guard, and the Department of Homeland Security have been working with the cruise industry on a framework to combat Covid-19 on ships with international crew members who remain on board and at sea.
The order requires that cruise lines develop a detailed operational plan approved by CDC and the US Coast Guard to address the Covid-19 pandemic, including a response plan with limited reliance on state, local, and federal government support, the report said.
Small ships with fewer than 250 passengers and crew are not affected by the CDC’s ruling, CruiseCritic reported.
This allows small-ship lines like Alaska Dream Cruises, American Cruise Lines, Blount, Lindblad Expeditions and UnCruise Adventures to resume operations of their entire fleets before the expiration of the ruling.