Coronavirus prompts CDC to extend ‘No Sail Order’ for cruise ships

There are currently about 100 cruise ships at sea around the US

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended its “No Sail Order” for all cruise ships in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The order, which was previously enacted on March 14, was supposed to last for 30 days but was renewed by the CDC on Thursday.

According to the agency, the renewed order will last until the coronavirus is no longer a public health emergency, the CDC rescinds the order or in 100 days.

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“We are working with the cruise line industry to address the health and safety of crew at sea as well as communities surrounding U.S. cruise ship points of entry,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in a statement.

“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,” Redfield added.

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The renewed order stops all cruise ships from operating in U.S. waters and requires them to “develop a comprehensive, detailed operational plan” for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, according to the CDC.

Cruise ships are docked at Port Miami, Tuesday, March 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Currently, there are about 100 cruise ships -- with about 80,000 crew onboard -- at sea off the East Coast, West Coast and Gulf Coast, which will be affected by the order.

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At least 20 cruise ships in U.S. waters or ports have crew members on board with “known or suspected COVID-19 infection,” the CDC said.

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