The Unites States Centres for Disease Control & Prevention have extended a ‘no sail order’ for 100 days, or until health bodies declare the Covid-19 pandemic over.
The move effectively bars cruise lines from boarding passengers or return to sailing schedules in the near future.
Around 100 cruise ships in the Atlantic, Pacific or Gulf of Mexico must now remain idle, either in port or wallowing at anchor.
Those ships currently have nearly 80,000 crew aboard.
Cruise ship lines have voluntarily suspended most operations, leaving a small number of ships left at sea with passengers aboard.
Many have struggled to find ports that will allow their passengers to disembark.
Officials also launched a broadside at cruise lines, stating at least ten ships have reported crew or passengers that tested positive or experienced respiratory symptoms or influenzas-like illness in recent weeks.
“Additionally, CDC is aware of 20 cruise ships at port or anchorage in the US with known or suspected Covid-19 infection among the crew who remain on board,” added a statement.
The latest decision is an extension of a ‘no sail order’ released in mid-March.
CDC director Robert Redfield said: “We are working with the cruise line industry to address the health and safety of crew at sea as well as communities surrounding US cruise ship points of entry.
“The measures we are taking today to stop the spread of Covid-19 are necessary to protect Americans, and we will continue to provide critical public health guidance to the industry to limit the impacts of COVID-19 on its workforce throughout the remainder of this pandemic.”
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