WASHINGTON, July 16 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Thursday the extension of a No Sail Order for cruise ships through September 30, 2020.
A man navigates his kayak next to Cruise Ships docked at the port due to a no-sail order in Long Beach, California on April 11, 2020. (Photo: AFP)
The order continues to suspend passenger operations on cruise ships with the capacity to carry at least 250 passengers in waters subject to U.S. jurisdiction.
The CDC supports the decision by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) on June 19 to extend voluntarily the suspension of operations for passenger cruise ship travel until September 15, 2020, said the agency in a release.
In line with CLIA's announcement of voluntary suspension of operation by its member companies, the CDC has extended its No Sail Order to ensure that passenger operations on cruise ships do not resume prematurely.
Cumulative CDC data from March 1 through July 10, 2020, shows 2,973 COVID-19 or COVID-like illness cases on cruise ships, in addition to 34 deaths. These cases were part of 99 outbreaks on 123 different cruise ships.
During this time frame, 80 percent of ships were affected by COVID-19. As of July 3, nine of the 49 ships under the No Sail Order have ongoing or resolving outbreaks, according to the CDC.
On cruise ships, passengers and crew share spaces that are more crowded than most urban settings. Even when only essential crew are on board, ongoing spread of COVID-19 still occurs, according to the CDC.