CLIA suspends U.S. operations across ocean-going cruise lines

CLIA says pause in operations extended to Dec. 31

WASHINGTON, D.C. — CLIA has announced that its cruise line members will maintain their ongoing voluntary suspension of cruise operations in the U.S. through Dec. 31, 2020.

CLIA says the companies will use the remainder of the year to prepare for the implementation of extensive measures to address COVID-19 safety with the guidance of outside public health experts and the CDC.

 On Oct. 30 the CDC said it would allow its No Sail Order, in place since mid-March when the pandemic began, to expire on Oct. 31. The CDC has replaced the No Sail Order with a Conditional Sailing Order, with initial phases consisting of testing and additional safeguards for crew members. The CDC says it will ensure cruise ship operators have adequate health and safety protections for crew members while these cruise ship operators build the laboratory capacity needed to test future passengers.

Today CLIA issued the following statement on behalf of its members:

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

“We share a common goal with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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 operationalize a path forward, our members have agreed to extend our existing suspension of U.S. 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. 

“We recognize 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.”  

Each day without cruise operations in the U.S. results in nearly 1,000 American jobs lost, says CLIA. From mid-March through today, CLIA cites estimates that the suspension of cruise operations has resulted in a loss of more than US$25 billion in economic activity and over 164,000 American jobs.

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