Another big blow for the beleaguered cruise industry

By Patti Pietschmann, Travel Diva

The cruise industry is suffering another blow as the CDC extends the no sail rule until October. Not a big surprise seeing how the coronavirus is surging throughout the United States. If everybody would abide by the guidelines of mask wearing and social distancing we might have a better handle on this pandemic. But no.

So the Centers for Disease Control and prevention had to act. And now all passengers on cruise ships with the capacity to carry 150 passengers in US are barred from operating.

CDC supports  CLIA’s voluntary cruise suspension

Prior to the CDC announcement, Cruise Lines International Association ordered a voluntarily  suspension of operations for passenger cruise ship travel until September 15, 2020.  CDC s defends its No Sail Order as a way to ensure that passenger operations on cruise ships do not resume prematurely.

Cruises and Covid19 spread

Cumulative CDC data from March 1 through July 10, 2020, shows 2,973 COVID-19 or COVID-like illness cases on cruise ships, in addition to 34 deaths. These cases were part of 99 outbreaks on 123 different cruise ships. During this time frame, 80 percent of ships were affected by COVID-19.

As of July 3, nine of the 49 ships under the No Sail Order have ongoing or resolving outbreaks. According to U.S. Coast Guard data, as of July 10, 2020, there are 67 ships with 14,702 crew onboard.

Too close for Covid control on ships

The CDC contends that on cruise ships, passengers and crew share spaces that are more crowded than most urban settings. They say that even when only essential crew are on board, ongoing spread of COVID-19 still occurs.

In further defense of it’s current ruling, CDC says, “ If unrestricted cruise ship passenger operations were permitted to resume, passengers and crew on board would be at increased risk of COVID-19 infection.”

And it adds, “Those that work or travel on cruise ships would place substantial unnecessary risk on healthcare workers, port personnel and federal partners (i.e., Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Coast Guard), and the communities they return to.”

Alaska hit hard

Alaska anticipated 1.3 million cruise passengers this summer. The Last Frontier relies on the industry for much of its revenue and is suffering a large economic loss.

Fluid times

The CDC continually updates its guidance and recommendations to specify basic safety standards and public health interventions based on the best scientific evidence available.

For more information about COVID-19 and cruise ships visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/cruise-ship/what-cdc-is-doing.html. To view the No Sail Order, go to www.cdc.gov/quarantine/cruise.

While this is a set back, you can still start planning cruises for 2021 and beyond with a Pavlus travel advisor. Folks, let’s hope by then the world will be coronavirus free and we will all sail again.

You can play a large part in the fight against the virus by wearing a mask in public and socially distancing.

Be safe and act wisely.

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