CDC Allows No-Sail Order for Cruise Lines to Expire This Weekend

The MSC Meraviglia is seen off the coast on March 26, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida. According to reports, two Costa ships, the Favolosa and the Magica, are anchored off the coast of Miami with approximately 30 people experiencing flu-like symptoms of COVID-19. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will let its no-sail order expire over the weekend, the agency announced Friday.

“The no-sail order has been in place since mid-March due to the coronavirus but will expire on Saturday night and not be extended,” according to WESH.

Although the order is scheduled to end, cruises will not begin on Sunday, the report continued:

The order will be replaced with a new conditional sail order that will remain in effect until either Nov. 1, 2021, the expiration of the declaration of a public health emergency or when CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield decides to end it. Cruise lines will have to prove to the CDC that its COVID-19 protocols are effective before they will be allowed to sail with passengers.

“Before cruises can welcome back any customers in the U.S., companies will need to implement COVID-19 safety measures, establish lab capacity to be able to test all crew members and future passengers, and participate in a mock voyage,” according to WBNS.

Once a cruise line gets approval for a conditional sailing certificate, the agency said trips should be no more than seven days, adding that “all crew and passengers will need to be tested for COVID-19 before they embark, and before they disembark.”

Cruise stocks reportedly went up following the announcement, according to CNBC:

Shares of the largest cruise company in the world, Carnival, soared more than 11% on the news in afternoon trading Friday, before levelling off and closing more than 5% higher. Shares of Norwegian Cruise Line also finished the day more than 5% higher and Royal Caribbean stock closed up almost 5%.

In a tweet Friday afternoon, Royal Caribbean said the announcement “establishes a pathway for our ships to return to service”:

“We will continue to work closely with both CDC and the Healthy Sail Panel as we make our plans, and we are confident in our ability to mitigate the risks of the pandemic and protect the health of our guests, our crew, and the communities where we sail,” the company said.

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