White House Intervenes in Cruise Ship Ban

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white house cruise ship ban

The CDC Director, Robert Redfield was reportedly overruled today in the White House situation room.

Axios is reporting that Redfield suggested extending the No-Sail Order through February 2021, because of the virus’ severity and the vulnerability for spread on cruises.

However, Vice President Mike Pence, who was running the meeting, told Redfield that they would be “proceeding with a different plan”, according to two task force members. That different plan appears to be, at first, extending the Cruise Ship Ban just one month past it’s slated expiration date, through October, 2020.

On September 30th, 2020, just before the order was set to expire, the CDC updated their website to reflect the extension through October as follows:

September 30, 2020 Update

On September 30, 2020, CDC extended the No Sail Order and Suspension of Further Embarkation; Third Modification and Extension of No Sail Order and Other Measures Related to Operations that was issued on July 16, 2020. The Order is effective upon signature and will be published in the Federal Register soon.

This Order is in effect until one of the following occurs:

  • The expiration of the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ declaration that COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency,
  • The CDC Director rescinds or modifies the order based on specific public health or other considerations, or
  • October 31, 2020.

What Now?

  • Instead of extending the cruise ship ban through February 2021, as suggested by Redfield, the administration plans to allow the CDC to extend the no-sail order through October 31, 2020, aligning with CLIA’s voluntary pause on cruise operations.
  • Axios is reporting: “The administration hopes that between now and then, the cruise industry can demonstrate it has a plan to ensure ‘ships can sail in a safe and responsible manner and that the companies assume the burden of dealing with any possible outbreaks,’ said a task force member involved in the talks”.
  • Cruise industry executives are set to meet with the Trump administration on Friday October 2 to “describe their transformation and dozens of ways that they will mitigate risk and ensure public health,” according to a White House official.

Not so fast:

While this certainly gives hope that cruising may resume as early as November, 2020, it’s important to note that during this meeting, a decision on whether the no sail-order will be allowed to expire at the end of October was not formally made. Axios states that a formal decision is pending Friday’s discussion. The administration will then determine if the cruise ship ban needs to be extended on a month-by-month basis.

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Sheri and her family are California based cruise content creators focused on providing practical tips and advice to new and seasoned cruisers. CruiseTipsTV’s audience enjoys following Sheri and her family as they travel the world by ship creating travel films. Sheri has visited destinations like Japan, Mexico, Alaska, Europe and the Caribbean, and has experienced 33 cruises on 6 cruise lines. She was named one of Porthole Cruise Magazine’s 10 Travel Influencers Changing How We Vacation in 2018 and 2019. Sheri has been quoted in the New York Times, CNBC, Forbes, Prevention, and Business Innovator Radio. Her YouTube Channel, CruiseTipsTV has over 87,000 subscribers and 17 million views.