We all know that cruising has been one of the hardest-hit industries during the COVID pandemic. With close quarters, no room to social distance, and tons of shared spaces, cruise ships have repeatedly become outbreak hotspots during the pandemic (there have been at least 42 instances on cruise ships).
Because of this, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which represents about 95% of all oceanic cruising vessels around the world, has announced that all their members will suspend cruising until at least 2021. ABC News reports that the cruise industry will instead “use the remainder of the year to prepare for the implementation of extensive measures to address COVID-19 safety with the guidance of outside public health experts and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
This news, however, was expected. Before CLIA made its sweeping announcement, numerous cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Carnival, had already made their own independent announcements about continuing their sailing pause.
And this is all for the best. Almost everything on a cruise ship is communal, and America has just hit an astonishingly high daily COVID infection number – more than 100,000 cases in a single day – therefore, sailing on cruises would be extremely risky. Hopefully, by the start of 2021, we will have a vaccine announcement, better measures for containing potential exposure, and a new government that’s willing to protect American citizens from the COVID-19 pandemic.
2021 looks to be a safer year for cruising, and many passengers can’t wait to board their favorite ships once again.