The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on July 16, 2020 that it was extending a no-sail order that had been scheduled to expire July 24 for cruise ships. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

CDC extends US ban on cruise ships through September

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials are extending the U.S. ban on cruise ships through the end of September as coronavirus infections rise in most U.S. states, including Florida.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that it was extending a no-sail order that had been scheduled to expire July 24.

In the order signed by CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, the agency said the cruise industry hasn’t controlled transmission of the virus on its ships.

The CDC said it was concerned whether cruise ships operating now with reduced crews were complying with practices designed to prevent transmitting the virus. The CDC said its concerns “highlight the need for further action prior to resuming passenger operations.”

The order covers ships that can carry 250 or more passengers. The CDC said cruise ships are more crowded than most urban settings, and even when only essential crew remains on board, the virus continues to spread.

Companies that belong to an industry trade group, the Cruise Lines International Association, had already cancelled cruises until Sept. 15 because of ongoing discussions with federal officials over how to restart operations safely. Members of the group include Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

The trade group issued a statement saying it was committed to safety and would talk with CDC about appropriate steps to let cruises resume in the United States “when the time is right.”

From March 1 through July 10, there have been nearly 3,000 cases of COVID-19 or similar illnesses and 34 deaths on cruise ships, according to the CDC. There have been 99 outbreaks covering 80% of the ships in U.S. waters, the CDC said. Nine ships are still dealing with outbreaks, the agency said.

Coast Guard figures show that on July 10 there were 14,702 crew members on board 67 ships.

Major cruise lines are trying to save cash and raise more money on the private credit markets to survive the pandemic. Carnival Corp. said last week that it expects to burn about $20 million a day in cash through the rest of this year.

Coronavirus infections are rising in 40 states, and daily deaths have climbed more than 20% from a week ago. Florida, where many cruises begin and end, reported nearly 14,000 new virus cases and set a single-day record of 156 deaths reported on Thursday, beating the previous high of 132 deaths reported Tuesday.

By The Associated Press

Cruise ships

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: One more death reported in central zone

Number of active cases has decreased by more than 200 since last week

EMS dispatch is being consolidated

Alberta Health Services says EMS 911 dispatch will be consolidated across the… Continue reading

Stolen truck crashes into Parkland Mall

A pickup truck rammed into a Parkland Mall store. Cpl. Michael Evans… Continue reading

Most Alberta students and staff will be required to wear masks in school this fall

Masks must be worn by older students when Alberta schools reopen this… Continue reading

Bard on Bower is cancelling its 2020 season

A recent rise in COVID-19 cases have inflamed public gathering concerns

David Marsden: Back-to-school plan makes sense

Albertans are wise to propose ways to improve students’ return to classrooms… Continue reading

TikTok sale puts Canada between Trump and China, again, experts say

TikTok sale puts Canada between Trump and China, again, experts say

Alberta, Ottawa reduce oilsands environmental monitoring budget due to pandemic

Alberta, Ottawa reduce oilsands environmental monitoring budget due to pandemic

Alberta RCMP issues 2,559 traffic tickets over August long weekend

The Alberta RCMP had a busy Heritage Day long weekend. Between Friday… Continue reading

Husky targets 25% GHG emissions intensity cut, vows to hire more female leaders

Husky targets 25% GHG emissions intensity cut, vows to hire more female leaders

Oilfield services rival makes alternative plan to restructure Calfrac debt

Oilfield services rival makes alternative plan to restructure Calfrac debt

TSX moves up as Mideast blast lifts commodities, markets catch up after holiday

TSX moves up as Mideast blast lifts commodities, markets catch up after holiday

Bergheim wins 98th annual Central Alberta Amateur

Cole Bergheim was up against some tough competition this weekend, but the… Continue reading

Most Read