The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has announced a voluntary suspension through December 31, 2020 as its members prepare for resuming operations for 2021.
Update from CLIA on Suspension and Resuming Cruises
Cruising from the United States for the remainder of 2020 is on hold after all the major cruise lines yesterday announced further suspensions until 2021. Following the day of announcements, CLIA has released a statement further detailing the pause on cruises in the United States. The focus will now be totally on planning the return to operations.
Last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lifted the No-Sail order and implemented a new Conditional Sailing Order. With new requirements on a safe return of cruising, cruise lines need extra time to prepare as stated by CLIA:
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.
So the further suspension impacts all member lines of CLIA with operations out of the U.S. Carnival Corporation has already announced a suspension of all of North America operations, Royal Caribbean has cancelled cruises too except for the pilot sailings of Quantum, of the Seas out of Singapore along with further suspension with MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line. Here is the full coverage:
- Major Cruise Lines Put U.S. Operations on Hold Until 2021
- MSC Cruises Suspends U.S. Departures Until Next Year
- Royal Caribbean Cancels Remaining 2020 Cruises
- Norwegian Cruise Line Cancels All Cruises Until 2021
- Carnival Brands Cancel Cruises from North America Until 2021
CLIA went on to state:
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.
What Happening Now?
So now, the real focus is implementing health measures and cruise lines need to get these right or could cause a much longer issue. The CDC has already posted a detailed 40-page framework for what cruise lines need to do and we know Carnival Cruise Line had already asked for patience to review all the information.
Even though cruise lines have already been implanting new protocols over the last few months and working with health experts, it all comes down to the CDC and making sure the Conditional Sailing Order is met.
There will need to be 100% testing of passengers and crew, and for that to happen, facilities will need to be set up, such as the new COVID-19 testing laboratory installed by Viking Cruises. The crew will need to be trained on a range of new measures and a series of trial sailings to stress-test new protocols that need to be done.
Lots to do for cruise lines for sure and hopefully, it can all be done by 2021. The cruise industry is so important to the U.S. and generates over $53 billion annually to the economy along with supporting 421,000 American jobs across many sectors. The state of Florida is a huge part of that and officials there are desperate to kick start the industry again.
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