CDC Extends 'No Sail' Order for Cruise Ships for at Least 100 Days (Video)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended its order telling Americans to avoid cruise ships as trips. at sea have been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Originally implemented on March 14, the current "No-Sail Order" will remain in place for at least 100 days or until certain circumstances are met, including that COVID-19 is no longer a public health emergency.
“We are working with the cruise line industry to address the health and safety of crew at sea as well as communities surrounding U.S. cruise ship points of entry,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in a statement on Thursday. “The measures we are taking today to stop the spread of COVID-19 are necessary to protect Americans, and we will continue to provide critical public health guidance to the industry to limit the impacts of COVID-19 on its workforce throughout the remainder of this pandemic.”
The measure leaves about 100 ships with crew on board to remaining anchored or at a port with a collective 80,000 crew on board.
According to the CDC, at least 10 different cruise ships in recent weeks have included passengers or crew who either tested positive for COVID-19 or became sickened with respiratory or flu-like symptoms.
There are currently about 100 cruise ships that are off the coast of the U.S. with nearly 80,000 crew on board, along with at least 20 ships in port “with known or suspected COVID-19 infection among the crew who remain onboard.”
The extension comes after the CDC ruled that passengers or crew arriving in the U.S. from a cruise will no longer be able to board commercial flights.
While many cruise lines have temporarily suspended sailings, several ships that were already out at sea have become stranded. Notably, Holland America Line’s Zaandam ship finally disembarked passengers earlier this month after hundreds became sick and several people died, and Princess Cruises’ Coral Princess ship, which docked in Miami, was forced to fly people home on charter flights after at least a dozen people tested positive for COVID-19 and at least three passengers died.