The vacation cruise industry has accepted it cannot restart operations this year.
Major cruise lines Carnival and Norwegian recently extended a halt on cruises through the end of the year. Then, the cruise industry representative group said Tuesday that its members have agreed they would not sail for the rest of 2020.
The announcement comes just days after the U.S. government effectively lifted its no-sail order, even though there is a worldwide increase in coronavirus infections.
Cruise Lines International Association represents 95 percent of cruise lines, including Princess, Carnival, and Royal Caribbean. It said its members have voluntarily decided to shut down cruise operations in the U.S. through the end of the year.
Members “will use the remainder of the year to prepare for…extensive measures to address COVID-19 safety” with the guidance of public health experts and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the association said.
On Friday, federal health officials announced new rules permitting large cruise ships to start sailing again in U.S. waters, but not immediately. The CDC will require that ship owners must test all passengers and crew at the start and end of each cruise. Only seven-day cruises will be permitted.
In March, the CDC ordered cruise ships to stop sailing to the U.S. after several outbreaks showed officials that the ships were spreading COVID-19 infection. The announcement last week brings the no-sail order to an end.
The cruise industry closed for business in the middle of March because of the virus. The cruise industry estimates the economy lost $25 billion in economic activity and about 164,000 American jobs.
The CDC’s new rules say that, in order to start carrying passengers, the companies must show they can test and quarantine anyone who gets the virus. Among other requirements, they will have to build testing laboratories on all ships and make their own plans to isolate or quarantine passengers at ports, if needed.
I’m Susan Shand.
The Associated Press reported this story. Susan Shand adapted it for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.
Words In This Story
cruise - n. a journey on a boat or ship to a number of places as a vacation
quarantine - v. to keep (a person or animal) away from others to prevent a disease from spreading
outbreak - n. a sudden start or increase of fighting or disease
isolate - v. to put or keep (someone or something) in a place or situation that is separate from others