Cruise Ship Travel Delayed Until October

Cruise ship travel exacerbates the global spread of COVID-19 disease
cruise ship photo
International (Vax Before Travel)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced an extension of the existing No Sail Order and Suspension of Further Embarkation through September 2020.

This action was taken on July 16, 2020, in reaction to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic continuing to impact the worldwide economy. 

The Director of CDC finds ‘that cruise ship travel exacerbates the global spread of COVID-19 disease.'

To alert travelers, the CDC issued a Level 3 travel health notice on March 17, 2020, with a clear recommendation to avoid all cruise travel.

The new CDC data indicates from the period of March 1 to July 10, 2020, a total of 2,973 COVID-19 disease or COVID-like illness cases have been confirmed on cruise ships, in addition to 34 related fatalities.

These data have also revealed a total of 99 outbreaks on 123 different cruise ships, which means that 80 percent of ships within U.S. jurisdiction were affected by COVID-19 during this time frame. 

In addition, 9 ships still have ongoing or resolving COVID-19 outbreaks on board. However, the CDC stated it is allowing crew members currently at sea to disembark in U.S. waters, under certain conditions.

Cruise ships with complete and accurate No Sail Order response plans are able to disembark their crew members without a signed attestation if they use non-commercial travel and follow all CDC requirements to prevent the interaction of disembarking crew members with the public. 

Cruise company officials must sign an acknowledgment of the completeness and accuracy of their response plans. 

These cruise ships are also able to use commercial travel to disembark crew members if they meet certain criteria to show that they have no confirmed COVID cases or COVID-like illness onboard. 

Crew members on these ships that are not affected by COVID-19 can also resume some of their daily interactions with fellow crew members.

The CDC’s No Sail Order applies to all cruise ships, which it defines as commercial passenger ships with the capacity to carry more than 250 people and where an overnight stay onboard by passengers or crew is anticipated. 

And, the Order applies to all cruise ships operating or seeking to operate, in waters subject to US jurisdiction, including those that have previously voluntarily suspended operations. It does not apply to cargo ships.

The CDC and federal partners are monitoring ships with crew only, and we are working with the cruise companies and local and state health departments to ensure that seriously ill crew members can get medical assistance on land if the ship can’t provide it. 

Moreover, the CDC remains committed to humanitarian medical evacuation for people in need of life-saving support. Emergency medical evacuations do not require CDC approval.

Crew members on ships in or intending to be in U.S. waters who have questions about the process for disembarkation or who have concerns about what their ship is doing to prevent COVID-19 onboard can share their questions or concerns with CDC by sending an email to [email protected].

International travel news is published by Vax-Before-Travel.