The clock is ticking for the cruise industry as they await word from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control on the status of the no sail order. The current no sail order is set to expire on Wednesday, September 30, 2020.
Under the current no sail order — which was first imposed by the CDC back in March 2020 and later extended — cruise ships carrying over 250 guests are forbidden to cruise within U.S. jurisdiction. Cruise ships have only been allowed to lay up in U.S. ports or anchor offshore.
During this time, many of the major lines used their ships to repatriate thousands of crew members who, thanks to various travel restrictions in place because of the same health crisis which had shut down cruises, were unable to get home.
What Determines If The CDC Will Lift the No Sail Order?
While many considered the date listed on the no sail order as the earliest that ships would be able to return, that wasn’t exactly true. There were three different scenarios under which cruise lines would be able to resume service. They were:
- The expiration of the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ declaration that the crisis we were facing as a country was an official public health emergency.
- The CDC Director rescinding or modifying the order based on various criteria.
- The September 30, 2020 date passing and the CDC not extending the actual no sail order to a later date.
On Monday, September 21, 2020, two separate (but largely similar) plans were presented to the CDC. One was put forth by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) on behalf of all its members.
The second was the Healthy Sail Plan put together by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean Group — consisting of government officials and infectious disease experts — outlining 74 steps that the cruise lines would specifically do in order to guarantee, as much as possible, the health and safety of those on board.
This included guidelines that would control nearly every aspect of life on board the ship for both crew and passengers.
No News Is Good News
Earlier this summer, the CDC also put forth a request for public commentary on the issue of cruise lines resuming service. Between their original request for commentary and the Monday deadline, the organization received feedback from thousands upon thousands of people from all walks of life, including industry supporters and detractors.
When the CDC extended the original no sail order, it did so on the Thursday evening before it had been set to expire. Given that as of Friday morning, the latest order has not been extended, many are taking this as an indication that the current order may actually be allowed to expire next week.
In recent weeks, several cruise lines have made it clear they hope to begin sailing in early November. Already, sailings have resumed overseas with health protocols similar to those being suggested by CLIA and the Health Sail Panel in place.
One thing is certain, cruisers will have a much clearer picture by next week, when the current no sail order is set to expire.
- The Controversial Technology That Could Change Cruising Forever
- The Rule Change That Could Save Alaska’s 2021 Cruise Season
- Royal Caribbean Makes Changes to Winter 2021/2022 Cruise Schedule
- Impressive Timelapse of New Cruise Ship Being Built [VIDEO]
- Kicked Off Ship: Cruiser Who Ignored Excursion Rules Sent Packing
- Judge’s Ruling Clears Path For Carnival December 1 Sailing
- Travel During A Pandemic: Visiting Disney Springs
- Cruise Podcast: How To Buy A Room On A Cruise Ship + News
- 21 Haunting Images From a Cruise Ship Scrapyard [PHOTOS]
- New Cruise Ship Will Literally Change the Air You Breathe
CRUISE NEWS4 days ago
First Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship to Sail Gives Glimpse of New Normal
CRUISE NEWS3 days ago
21 Haunting Images From a Cruise Ship Scrapyard [PHOTOS]
CRUISE NEWS2 days ago
Judge’s Ruling Clears Path For Carnival December 1 Sailing
CRUISE NEWS2 days ago
Kicked Off Ship: Cruiser Who Ignored Excursion Rules Sent Packing