Cruise Line Shares Hit - CDC Extends Ban Through Sept. 30

Shares of the three major cruise ship lines are lower on Friday as the CDC extends its no-sail order through September.
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Cruise-line stocks were lower Friday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended its ban on passenger cruising from U.S. ports through Sept. 30, due to the coronavirus.

Carnival Corp.  (CCL) - Get Report, Royal Caribbean Cruises  (RCL) - Get Report and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings  (NCLH) - Get Report at last check were all losing ground.

The CDC’s no-sail order had been due to expire on July 24. 

In June, the Cruise Line International Association, an industry trade group, said its members had agreed to suspend operations until Sept. 15. 

The CDC said it was extending its no-sail order "to ensure that passenger operations on cruise ships do not resume prematurely."

The agency said that data from March 1 through July 30 show 34 deaths and nearly 3,000 cases of covid-19 or covid-like illnesses on cruise ships. 

These cases were part of 99 outbreaks on 123 different cruise ships, the CDC said. During this time, 80% of ships within U.S. jurisdiction were affected by the coronavirus. 

"Covid-19 outbreaks on cruise ships required 27 notifications by CDC to international, state, and local health department for over 11,000 cruise-ship passengers requiring contact tracing, which resulted in countless hours of work for numerous already burdened public health officials," CDC Director Robert Redfield said in the order.

Redfield said the industry still has not reached a consensus about how to set sail safely. The CDC issued the first industrywide no sail order on March 14

As of July 3, nine of the 49 ships under the no-sail order have ongoing or resolving outbreaks. As of July 10, there are 67 ships with 14,702 crew onboard, according to U.S. Coast Guard data.

"On cruise ships, passengers and crew share spaces that are more crowded than most urban settings," the CDC said in a statement. 

"Even when only essential crew are on board, ongoing spread of covid-19 still occurs."