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CDC Bans Cruises in U.S. Waters Until October, Due to Outbreaks

Virus Outbreak Florida cruise
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

If you were hoping to set sail in the coming months, you could be out of luck.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Thursday that it has banned cruising in U.S. waters until at least Oct. 1, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agency extended its no-sail order for cruises, which was set to expire July 24, for the second time in recent months, amid continued virus outbreaks on cruise ships.

Companies that are members of the cruise industry lobbying group Cruise Lines International Association, including Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean Group, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, MSC Cruises, Disney Cruise Line and Virgin Voyages, had already cancelled all of their sailings through at least Sept. 14.

Meanwhile, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line had cancelled its cruises through Aug. 28.

Although the last cruise passengers disembarked in early June, thousands of crew members are still awaiting repatriation without pay.

In addition, some crew members are still contracting COVID-19 on board.

Since March 1, cruise companies have reported a total of 2,973 COVID-19 or COVID-like illnesses to the CDC on cruise ships in U.S. waters and 34 COVID-19 deaths, according to the agency.

About 1,000 of those confirmed and suspected cases, and one of the deaths – a crew member on the Disney’s “Wonder” ship – have occurred since June 23, according to records.

The CDC clarified that the confirmed and suspected cases were part of 99 outbreaks on 123 different cruise ships.

According to U.S. Coast Guard data, there are 67 ships in and around U.S. waters, with 14,702 crew members onboard, as of July 10.