When coronavirus became a large issue on cruise ships, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted a No Sail Order, effective March 14, 2020, that would last 30 days.
On April 9, the CDC renewed the No Sail Order such that cruise ships would not be allowed to sail for 100 days from when the order was published in the Federal Register. That happened on April 15th, which means cruise ships can’t sail until July 24th. But the CDC admits it hasn’t determined when it will be safe for cruise ships to sail again.
Since the first orders on March 14th, the CDC’s website says it has “reason to believe that cruise ship travel may continue to introduce, transmit, or spread Covid-19.”
Dr. Martin Cetron, CDC Director for Global Migration and Quarantine recently said to CNN of the matter: “We have been learning a lot over the last four months about this virus and the pandemic, about the unique aspects and some of the situations that can cause very large outbreaks.”
Cruise ships such as the Diamond Princess (3,711 aboard, 712 tested positive) showed how easily the virus can spread from person to person. According to a report from the CDC, almost half of the Princess’ passengers and crew who tested positive for the virus showed no symptoms when they were tested. Not knowing you’re positive can potentially lead to unwittingly passing the virus on to others.
Another problem inherent to cruise ships: they’re relatively small environments, which leads to difficulty in social distancing. They also hold at least 3 demographics of people who are more susceptible to the virus:
- Elderly guests
- Guests with underlying medical issues
- The ship’s crew, who live and work in close quarters, which makes it difficult to socially distance. The crew also stays on board for weeks and weeks, with short exits in a variety of locations when docked. They then mix with the other crew and each new shipload of passengers, even while being asymptomatic or with few symptoms.
Those types of people on board, on top of everyone being in a small space, can lead to the explosion of cases as seen on the Diamond Princess.
The CDC is requiring each ship to determine how they will prevent, detect, respond to, and contain the virus on their respective ships, so they’re ready when they’re allowed to sail again.
The CDC is not saying when cruise lines will be able to sail again. Once July 24th comes, the order could potentially be extended or changed.
“We have not advised cruise lines about the specific time of when they can resume cruise travel for passengers, it is premature to do that,” said Cetron.
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary