CDC extends 'no sail order' for all cruise ships

CDC extends 'no sail order' for all cruise ships

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended its "no sail order" for all cruise ships indefinitely. 

“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. 

Companies in the cruise line industry announced a voluntary suspension of most ship operations from U.S. ports on March 13. The following day, the CDC announced the no sail order, forcing all cruise ships to suspended operations.

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Since then, at least 10 cruise ships have docked in U.S. ports with crew and passengers that have tested positive for COVID-19 or showed symptoms of the disease. The CDC said the agency is also aware of 20 cruise ships at port or anchorage in the United States with known or suspected COVID-19 patients remain isolated on board the vessels. 

According to the CDC, the order will remain in effect until the "earliest of three situations:" occurs: Federal health officials determine COVID-19 is no longer a public health emergency, Redfield rescinds or modifies the order based on specific public health or "other consideration" or "100 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register."

“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,” Redfield added. 

The CDC said it is working with the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Coast Guard to “determine the most appropriate public health strategy to limit the impact of COVID-19 at cruise ship ports of entry in the United States.”