ORLANDO, Fla. – If you were hoping to take that long-awaited cruise this fall, you may have to postpone your sailing plans a little while longer.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extended its no sail order on cruises through September.
The order, which initially went into effect in March and was extended in April, was again extended on Thursday as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb worldwide.
According to the latest order, no cruise ships operating in the U.S. will be allowed to set sail until Sept. 30 unless either of the following items takes place before that date:
- The expiration of the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ declaration that COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency
- The CDC director rescinds or modifies the order based on specific public health or other considerations
CDC officials said the sailing ban also applies to cruise ships operating outside of U.S. waters if the operator of the ship intends for it to return to operating in international, interstate or intrastate waterways subject to the jurisdiction of the United States while the order is in effect.
On Sunday, just days before the order was extended, 230,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported, marking the largest single-day tally worldwide since the pandemic began, according to the CDC.
Prior to the extension, the world’s largest cruise line trade group announced last month that its members would voluntarily suspend sailing from U.S. ports until at least Sept. 15 due to the ongoing global pandemic.
Also last month, Disney Cruise Line officials suspended some sailings through fall, canceling a number of trips with guidance from the CDC.
Earlier this month, Royal Caribbean officials said they hoped to resume some sailing operations on Sept. 16.
CDC data shows that from March 1 to July 10, a total of 2,973 COVID-19 cases or COVID-19-like illnesses have been linked to cruise ships, in addition to 34 deaths.