The current “no-sail” order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention affecting cruise lines was set to expire on September 30th.
Last week, the Miami Dade County Mayor called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to not extend the order any further. Now, we’ve got an update on when cruises may be able to sail again.
According to Axios, in a meeting of the President’s coronavirus task force, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Redfield, insisted that the no-sail order be extended all the way to February of 2021 “because of the virus’ severity and the vulnerability for spread on cruises.” A number of White House officials, however, have argued that Redfield’s plan “is unreasonable.” Ultimately, Redfield was overruled and Vice President Mike Pence, who chaired the task force meeting, indicated that they would be proceeding with a different plan.
Under this new plan, the no-sail order will only be extended through October 31st, which matches up with the guidelines set by the Cruise Lines International Association. Axios notes that the President’s administration hopes that between now and October 31st, the “cruise industry can demonstrate it has a plan to ensure ‘ships can sail in a safe and responsible manner and that the companies assume the burden of dealing with any possible outbreaks.'”
According to a White House official, members of the President’s administration are set to meet with representatives from the cruise industry on Friday to go over the ways in which they plan to “mitigate risk and ensure public health.” Reportedly, in that meeting there will be a discussion and then a decision about whether the no-sail order needs to be extended. One White House official has noted that this type of order can be extended for a month and then officials can continue to “reassess the conditions on an ongoing basis.”
If the no-sail order does ultimately expire in October, it could mean that cruise lines could get back to sailing fairly soon. As for Disney Cruise Line, however, all departures have already been suspended through mid-December. So, although the no-sail order may expire in October, we still likely will not be able to get on a Disney Cruise ship for some time. All of these things are subject to change, so we’ll certainly be on the lookout for more news and we’ll let you know what we find!
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