In a message to customers and travel agents on Monday, Carnival said it is “committed to supporting all public health efforts to manage the COVID-19 situation,” including “focusing our return to service on a select number of homeports where we have more significant operations that are easily accessible by car for the majority of our guests.” The company plans on sailing eight ships from Galveston, Texas, and Miami and Port Canaveral in Florida.
Several ships owned by Carnival Cruise Line’s parent company, Carnival Corp., experienced COVID-19 outbreaks in the early days of the pandemic, with more than 1,500 infections and dozens of deaths linked to the Diamond Princess, Ruby Princess, and Zaandam. Last week, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure notified Carnival CEO Arnold Donald that it is investigating why the company didn’t do more sooner to protect passengers and crew, requesting all documents related to its response.
The CDC’s No Sail Order was first issued in March because the agency had “reason to believe that cruise ship travel may continue to introduce, transmit, or spread COVID-19,” and was renewed in April. Unless modified, it will stay in effect until either Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar declares COVID-19 is no longer a public health emergency or July 24. The CDC on Monday said it does not “have enough information to say when it will be safe for cruise ships to resume sailing,” and has not discussed time lines with the cruise lines.
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