CLIA ocean-going cruise lines will be voluntarily and temporarily suspending cruise ship operations from and to U.S. ports of call for 30 days as public health officials and the U.S. Government continue to address COVID-19.
“CLIA cruise line members are voluntarily and temporarily suspending operations from the U.S. as we work to address this public health crisis,” said Kelly Craighead, President and CEO, CLIA. “This is an unprecedented situation. Our industry has taken responsibility for protecting public health for more than 50 years, working under the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and prides itself on its ability to deliver exceptional vacation experiences for guests, as well as meaningful employment opportunities for crew. This has been a challenging time, but we hope that this decision will enable us to focus on the future and a return to normal as soon as possible.”
The temporary suspension will take effect at 12:00AM EDT on 14 March 2020. CLIA ocean-going cruise lines are focused on the safe and smooth return of those currently at sea onboard ships that will be affected by this decision.
“We do not take this decision lightly, and we want the traveling public to know in no uncertain terms the commitment of this industry to putting people first,” said Adam Goldstein, CLIA Global Chairman. “During this time, we will continue to work with the CDC and others to prepare for resumption of sailings when it is appropriate. We know the travel industry is a huge economic engine for the United States and when our ships once again sail, our industry will be a significant contributor to fueling the economic recovery.”
The cruise industry is a vital artery for the U.S. economy, supporting over 421,000 American jobs, with every 30 cruisers supporting one U.S. job, and annually contributes nearly $53 billion to the U.S. economy. Cruise activity supports travel agencies, airlines, hotels and a broad supply chain of industries that stretches across the United States.
Guests who are booked on cruise itineraries which will be impacted by this decision are encouraged to contact their travel advisors or reach out to their cruise lines directly.
What steps can you take to protect yourself from COVID-19
Leading health authorities are urging the same personal best practices that are standard for a typical flu season, such as the following:
- Avoid close contact with people who show signs of illness, including coughing or sneezing
- Cover your nose and mouth with a flexed elbow or paper tissue when coughing or sneezing and dispose immediately of the tissue and wash your hands
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available