If you were planning on cruising this summer, you might want to think again.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the extension of a No Sail Order for all cruise ships last week. Its original No Sail orders were issued on March 14. These new orders, besides extending how long until cruise ships can sail in/out of U.S. waters again, also includes some modifications.
The new No Sail Order, which was announced on April 9, will last for 100 days. That would be until July 18.
The new orders also require cruise companies to develop a comprehensive, detailed operational plan that includes:
- monitoring of passengers and crew medical screenings;
- training crew on COVID-19 prevention;
- managing and responding to an outbreak on board; and
- submitting a plan to USCG and CDC for review
These plans would help prevent, mitigate and respond to the spread of coronavirus, should it happen on a cruise ship. After the mess that occurred on the Diamond Princess (nearly half of the passengers wound up with COVID-19 – although they were offered free porn for their troubles???) and other cruise ships, I think this makes perfect sense.
Other information in the orders includes:
- Cruise ship operators aren’t allowed to disembark travelers (passengers or crew) at ports or stations, except as directed by the U.S. Coast Guard, in consultation with HHS/CDC personnel, and as appropriate, as coordinated with federal, state, and local authorities (this would go hand in hand with the March 29th ruling the Coast Guard made).
- Cruise ship operators shouldn’t embark or re-embark any crew member, except as approved by the USCG, in consultation with HHS/CDC personnel, until further notice.
- While in port, cruise ship operators must observe health precautions directed by HHS/CDC personnel.
- The cruise ship operator should comply with all HHS/CDC, USCG, and other federal agency instructions to follow CDC recommendations and guidance for any public health actions relating to passengers, crew, ship, or any article or thing on board the ship, as needed, including by making ship’s manifests and logs available and collecting any specimens for COVID-19 testing.
The orders will remain in effect until either:
- The Secretary of Health and Human Services’ declare that COVID-19 is no longer a public health emergency (wouldn’t THAT be awesome?).
- The CDC Director rescinds or modifies the order based on specific public health or other considerations.
- 100 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register has passed.
Whichever comes first.
Of course, if it comes to the 100th day, there’s nothing to stop them from making new orders, if needed.
The new orders can be found on this page of the CDC’s website.
The day after the CDC’s ruling came out, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) defended the cruise industry’s reaction to the coronavirus pandemic and its contributions to the U.S. economy. Their press release said, in part:
We are…concerned about the unintended consequences the No Sail Order issued on April 9 has in singling out the cruise industry, which has been proactive in its escalation of health and sanitation protocols and was one of the first industries to announce a voluntary suspension of operations.
While it’s easy to focus on cruising because of its high profile, the fact is cruising is neither the source or cause of the virus or its spread. What is different about the cruise industry is the very stringent reporting requirements applicable to vessels that do not apply to comparable venues on land where the spread of communicable disease is just as prevalent. It would be a false assumption to connect higher frequency and visibility in reporting to a higher frequency of infection.
The also quoted several numbers and statistics of how many American jobs would be lost, as well as the cruise industry’s impact on multiple sectors of the economy (i.e., transportation, food and beverage, lodging, manufacturing, agriculture, travel agencies and travel agents, plus a broad range of supply chain industries and small businesses).
You can read their full press release here.
#stayhealthy #stayathome #washyourhands
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary