CLIA Announces Suspension Of US Cruise Lines Until 2021

Author: Isabella Sullivan

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CLIA, the Cruise Lines International Association, has voluntarily extended its suspension of US cruise operations until 2021

CLIA, the Cruise Lines International Association, has announced the extension of its voluntary suspension of US cruise operations.

The cruise line trade association has extended the suspension through to 31 December 2020, effectively suspending all 2020 US cruise with CLIA members.

The suspension is a direct result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and subsequent travel restrictions, with the pause in operations giving CLIA members more time to implement stringent health and safety measures.

Members will now have the remainder of 2020 to prepare for the new measures that come with cruising post-coronavirus and follow guidance from public health experts and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CLIA represents 95 per cent of the world's ocean-going cruise line, with giants like Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, MSC Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and Carnival Cruise Lines all members.

"As we continue to plan for a gradual and highly-controlled return of cruise operations in the US CLIA members are committed to implementing stringent measures to address Covid-19 safety, including 100 per cent testing of passengers and crew, expanded onboard medical capabilities, and trial sailings, among many others," said CLIA in a statement.

"We share a common goal with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to protect public health, which has been affirmed and reaffirmed consistently throughout the industry’s response to the global pandemic. As we work to operationalize a path forward, our members have agreed to extend our existing suspension of US operations through 31 December.

"This action will provide additional time to align the industry’s extensive preparation of health protocols with the implementation requirements under the CDC’s Framework for Conditional Sailing and Initial Phase Covid-19 Testing Requirements for Protection of Crew.

"We recognise the devastating impact that the pandemic continues to have on the 421,000 Americans whose livelihoods are connected directly to cruise operations. We will work with urgency to advance a responsible return to cruising while maintaining a focus on effective, science-based measures to protect public health."

The suspension only applies to cruises from the US, with select European river cruises back in operation and other cruise lines planning to restart before the end of the year.