The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cited a lack of consensus among cruise lines and the need for additional industry-led efforts regarding safely resuming passenger operations in its decision to extend the No Sail Order (NSO) through Sept. 30.

"Cruise ship operators have taken tentative steps to advance their public health response to Covid-19, improve safety and achieve readiness to safely resume passenger operations," said Robert Redfield, CDC director, in a lengthy report on the extension.

Redfield specifically cited the partnership between Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) to develop health and safety protocols by assembling a Healthy Sail Panel, co-chaired by Mike Leavitt and Dr. Scott Gottlieb. The group is tasked with developing recommendations for cruise lines to advance a public health response to Covid-19, improve safety and achieve readiness for the safe resumption of operations.

The CDC director also mentioned that a variety of cruise lines have "promoted interventions to manage Covid-19 onboard ships in both online and in print marketing materials."

"It would thus be of benefit to have further industry-led engagement as to which strategies, best practices and procedures, either singularly or in combination, would be most effective in protecting the health of passengers, crew and global communities," Redfield wrote. "CDC will continue to update its guidance and recommendations to specify basic safety standards and public health interventions based on the best scientific evidence available. CDC will also continue to consult with international maritime public health partners on ways to reduce Covid-19 transmission on ships and will continue to monitor the global Covid-19 situation."

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