Earlier this week, the cruise industry had it’s first piece of good news in a long time when news came down that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would only be extending their no-sail order another 30 days instead of 100 days at the request of the Trump Administration. The plan was to have a meeting today between cruise line representatives and the White House COVID-19 Task Force to discuss a safe return to cruising.
Unfortunately, the news this morning that President Trump, his wife, and White House advisor Hope Hicks have tested positive for COVID-19 has postponed that meeting to a later date.
NBC Global Markets Reporter Seema Mody was one of the first to have the news in a tweet this morning.
— Seema Mody (@seemacnbc) October 2, 2020
No word yet on when that meeting will take place, but the longer it takes to get things in order, the chances sailing in November will happen grows slimmer. If the meeting were to take place in two weeks, the timeframe most often associated with COVID-19 recovery, it would only leave 15 days for the two sides to come to an agreement on whether the new health and safety protocols are enough to warrant a return to cruising.
Reporting as of now is that the President is experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms including a cough and a fever. Until the President and infected staff receive negative tests, it’s unlikely the meeting would happen in person, but perhaps the two sides could meet virtually to get things moving.
Some cruise lines have already postponed their sailings until December 2020 and beyond as it’s seemed unlikely the CDC would lift their order anytime soon. The news that the Trump Administration was keen on overruling CDC Director Robert Redfield came as a surprise to many and sparked a debate on whether or not playing politics with cruisers lives was what was happening.
We’ll continue to monitor the situation and keep you updated on when that very important meeting may take place!