The state of the CDC No Sail Order has been something that has been determining the status of the cruise industry since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. In an effort to limit transmission between countries and between travelers, the CDC has continually renewed their No Sail Order since March 2020. This means that any sizable ship has been unable to sail to or from America. With an expected renewal for October, many were sure that it would be business (or lack thereof) as usual for the rest of the year. But it’s not quite that simple.
The No Sail Order was set to expire on September 30th, 2020. However, previous months had taught the industry that these dates were always temporary. Until the coronavirus situation golt far better in the U.S., the CDC was determined to keep their No Sail Order afloat. The CDC did in fact renew the No Sail Order for October as was expected. Interestingly, this isn’t completely necessary, as the CLIA (an organization that is essentially just a grouping of different major American cruise lines) has already pledged to avoid sailing through the month of October.
Overruled by the White House
Even though it seems that the CDC was able to accomplish exactly what they wanted, there was far more going on behind the scenes. According to axios.com, the CDC was actually hoping to extend the No Sail Order until February 2021. It was the White House that instead chose to allow them to extend it only to October 31st, 2020 and no further. This date is in line with the CLIA cruise ban, meaning the White House will be allowing cruises to sail on that date regardless of the wishes of the CDC’s high up members.
This seems to imply pretty definitively that cruise ships will be allowed to sail from the U.S. come November 2020. While the CDC may not be in favor of it, they cannot overrule the White House decision. Of course, there is one caveat. The CLIA may decide to extend their own agreed upon suspension of operations. This is unlikely, though, as many important cruise industry officials have expressed a desire to sail as soon as possible.
This is undeniably a pretty huge deal. It now seems that it’s up to the cruise industry as to when they decide to sail again. We’ll see if that finally happens come November.