Cruise news: Cruise industry suspends sailing in US waters until 2021 after CDC ruling

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The US cruise industry has suspended cruises until and including December 31, 2020. It comes after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) lifted its “no sail” order last week and replaced it with a “Conditional Sailing Order”. The CDC’s new order “introduces a phased approach for the safe and responsible resumption for passenger cruises,” according to the organisation.

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) includes some of the biggest cruise operators in the world.

In fact, the organisation’s members carry 95 percent of the world’s oceangoing cruisers.

The cruise lines who are members of the CLIA will not be letting customers return until 2021.

The rest of this year will instead be dedicated to implementing coronavirus measures to ensure customers remain safe with help from the CDC and other health experts.

The CDC’s new order doesn’t say that people should not sail on cruise ships.

However, it also doesn’t fully allow passenger cruises to fully restart.

The order is “a phased, deliberate and intentional pathway” which will allow cruises to restart when they are safe, the CDC told USA Today.

The CDC is also still advising people not to sail on a cruise ship after they released a “Level 3 Health Notice” which advised people to defer any travel on cruise ships across the world, not just in the US.

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Some ocean cruises have resorted across Asia and Europe along with some river cruises.

A CLIA spokesperson said: “As we continue to plan for a gradual and highly controlled return of cruise operations in the US, CLIA members are committed to implementing stringent measures to address COVID-19 safety, including 100 percent testing of passengers and crew, expanded onboard medical capabilities and trial sailings, among many others.

“We share a common goal with the CDC to protect public health, which has been affirmed and reaffirmed consistently throughout the industry’s response to the global pandemic.

“As we work to operationalise a path forward, our members have agreed to extend our existing suspension of US operations through December 31.

“This action will provide additional time to align the industry’s extensive preparation of health protocols with the implementation requirements under the CDC’s ‘Framework for Conditional Sailing and Initial Phase COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Protection of Crew’.”

The organisation added: “We recognise the devastating impact that the pandemic continues to have on the 421,000 Americans whose livelihoods are connected directly to cruise operations.

“We will work with urgency to advance a responsible return to cruising while maintaining a focus on effective, science-based measures to protect public health.”

Currently, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against cruise ship travel at this time.

According to the FCDO cruise ship travel means staying overnight for at least one night on a sea-going cruise ship with people from multiple households.

They explain further that this means international travel on a ship whose purpose is for pleasure or recreation and provides overnight accommodation.

This includes shops with entertainment venues or swimming pools.

However, ferries or privately-rented boats are not included in the FCDO’s current advice.

“The government will continue to review its cruise ship travel advice based on the latest medical advice,” the FCDO said.

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