July 16, 2020 / 10:31 PM / 19 days ago

CDC extends U.S. cruises no-sail order until September end

July 16 (Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday extended its no-sail order for all cruise ships through September end, in a bid to contain the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus.

The CDC’s initial order was issued on March 14 and was subsequently extended to July 24, with the current extension taking the number of days cruise operators will have paused operations to 200.

The new order says cruise ships have to cease operations until Sept. 30 unless the Secretary of Health and Human Services declares COVID-19 no longer constitutes a public health emergency or if the CDC director rescinds or modifies the order. (bit.ly/2B4Ztta)

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) last month announced a voluntary suspension of cruise operations from U.S. ports until Sept. 15 and CDC said it extended its ban as not all cruise operators are members of CLIA.

The CDC also said its cumulative data from March 1 to July 10 revealed a total of 2,973 COVID-19 or COVID-like illness cases on cruise ships, nine of them still having ongoing or resolving outbreaks on board.

Crushed by a wave of cancellations and steep fall in bookings, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd said earlier Thursday it expected little revenue in the second quarter, while rival Carnival Corp said on Wednesday it planned on raising about $1.26 billion in bond offerings. (Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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