CDC Extends No Sail Order for Cruise Ships Through October 31, 2020

Tonight, the CDC announced the extension of the No Sail Order and suspension of further embarkation through October 31, 2020. The No Sail Order was last extended in July and was set to expire on September 30th. Below is the update posted by the CDC.

This is the third modification and extension of No Sail Order and other measures related to operations that was issued on July 16, 2020. The Order is effective upon signature and will be published in the Federal Register soon on October 5, 2020.

This Order is in effect until one of the following occurs:

  • The expiration of the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ declaration that COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency,
  • The CDC Director rescinds or modifies the order based on specific public health or other considerations, or
  • October 31, 2020.

An excerpt of the announcement is below, for the full requirements please read this PDF document published by the CDC.




Executive Summary

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to spread rapidly around the world with no approved treatment or vaccine. By July 16, 2020, the date of the second modification and extension of the No Sail Order, there were over 13 million confirmed cases and over 580,000 confirmed deaths worldwide. As of September 28, 2020, a cumulative total of over 33 million cases and almost 1 million confirmed deaths have now been reported worldwide. Even in countries that have managed to slow the rate of transmission, the risks for COVID-19 resurgence remains. In the United States, as of September 28, 2020, there have been over 7 million cases and more than 200,000 confirmed deaths with over 300,000 new cases reported in the last 7 days.

Since HHS/CDC’s original No Sail Order, signed on March 14, 2020, which suspended the embarkation of passengers, CDC has worked to control the spread of the virus associated with COVID-19 on cruise ships that remained in U.S. jurisdiction, while protecting against further introduction and spread of the virus associated with COVID-19 into U.S. communities. Cruise ships continue to be an unsafe environment with close quarters where the disease spreads easily and is not readily detected.

Cumulative CDC data from March 1 through September 28, 2020, show a total of 3,689 confirmed cases of COVID-191 or COVID-like illness2 cases on cruise ships and 41 deaths. These data have also revealed a total of 102 outbreaks on 124 different cruise ships, meaning more than 82% of ships within U.S. jurisdiction were affected by COVID-19 during this time frame. In addition, four cruise ships still have ongoing or resolving COVID-19 outbreaks on board. Recent outbreaks on cruise ships overseas continue to demonstrate that reduced capacity alone has not diminished transmission.

The challenges described in this document highlight the need for further action prior to cruise ships safely resuming passenger operations in the United States. CDC supports the decision by the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) and its members to voluntarily extend the further supports the decisions of numerous cruise ship operators that have voluntarily canceled scheduled voyages involving U.S. ports beyond the date specified by CLIA, including Cunard, Crystal Cruises, Holland America, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruise Lines, Viking Ocean Cruises, and Windstar Cruises.

However, because not all cruise ship operators subject to the No Sail Order are members of CLIA or have made similar commitments, CDC is extending its No Sail Order to continue to protect the public’s health by ensuring that passenger operations do not resume prematurely.

Previous Orders and Incorporation by Reference

This Order renews the No Sail Order and Other Measures Related to Operations signed by the CDC Director on March 14, 2020, as further modified and extended effective April 15, 2020, and July 16, 202013—subject to the modifications and additional stipulated conditions as set forth in this Order.

This Order shall remain in effect until the earliest of (1) the expiration of the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ declaration that COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency; (2) the CDC Director rescinds or modifies the Order based on specific public health or other considerations; or (3)October 31, 2020.

The findings and other evidence relied upon in issuing the March 14 Order, and April 15 and July 16, 2020, modifications and extensions, are incorporated herein by reference. Any ambiguity or conflict between the March 14 Order, and April 15 and July 16 modifications and extensions, as further modified and extended by the current Order, shall be resolved in favor of the current Order.

Statement of Intent

This Order shall be interpreted and implemented in a manner as to achieve the following paramount objectives:

  • Preserving human life;
  • Preserving the health and safety of cruise ship crew members, port personnel, andcommunities;
  • Preventing the further introduction, transmission, and spread of COVID-19 into and throughout the United States;
  • Preserving the public health and other critical resources of Federal, State, and local governments;
  • Preserving hospital, healthcare, and emergency response resources within the United States; and
  • Maintaining the safety of shipping and harbor conditions.

Earlier this week, it was reported the CDC Director intended to extend the No Sail Order in to February 2021, but was overruled by Vice President Pence at a coronavirus task force meeting at the White House. The White House argued the No Sail Order is unreasonable and the Trump administration intended to only extend the No Sail Order for cruise ships until Halloween which is in line with the cruise industry’s self-imposed voluntary suspension previously announced by CLIA.

Disney Cruise Line has already cancelled sailings into December across the fleet so the extension through October 31st will not directly impact any sailings as they have previously been cancelled.

2 Replies to “CDC Extends No Sail Order for Cruise Ships Through October 31, 2020”

  1. Gavin

    I read that the CDC wanted to extend this until February 2021 but the White House said only through October, presumably so that it wouldn’t have quite as much of an impact on the cruise industry, much of which is based in the swing state of Florida, and the upcoming election.


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