South Florida's 3 largest cruise companies suspended passenger sailings through the end of the year.
Less than a week after the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) put out guidelines for the return to service, Carnival Corporation, RCG-Royal Caribbean Group, and NCLH-Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings all announced cruises will not resume until January 1, 2021, at the earliest.
The companies, which make up the 3 largest in the United States cruise industry, have not embarked cruisers since mid-March due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald said:
"We continue to work with the (CDC), and global government and public health authorities, as well as top medical and science experts around the globe, on a comprehensive plan for the eventual restart of cruising in North America.
"With their collective guidance, we have developed and continue to update our enhanced health and safety protocols that are in the best interest of our guests, crew and overall public health."
The "no sail" order of the CDC expired on October 31. However, the plan of the agency for a resumption of sailings has multiple phases, and it would take weeks before any ship receives clearance to set sail from ports in the U.S.
The plan includes frequent COVID testing of the crew aboard cruise ships, the necessity for each vessel to run test cruises to ensure health guidelines work, and Coronavirus tests administered to travellers as they board the cruise ship and as they disembark.
The developments come as the number of Coronavirus cases reaches new highs in the United States including Pennsylvania which had 3,300+ confirmed cases, a record high, on November 6.