On 3rd April, the cruise ships ‘Zaandam’ and’ Rotterdam’ disembarked more than 1,200 passengers in Port Everglades, Florida.
These developments, combined with one remaining disembarkation that was being co-ordinated at the time, involved the processing of more than 120 vessels in the last three weeks to remove 250,000 passengers from cruise ships, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Coast Guard said.
The USCG, under guidance from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and working with its US Department of Homeland Security partners Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), as well as US state and local entities from multiple port jurisdictions, facilitated the safe landing, screening, quarantine and repatriation of the passengers and prevented the further spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Many passengers were brought to a safe harbour in the US when international ports had refused entry.
Most of the cruise line industry announced a voluntarily suspension of cruise ship operations from US ports on 13th March through CLIA, and the CDC issued a ‘No Sail’ order to all cruise ships that had not voluntarily suspended operations a day later, which has since been updated.
“We commend the decision by the cruise industry to cease operations. However, pausing a global tourist industry does not happen instantaneously or easily,” said Vice Admiral Dan Abel, USCG Deputy Commandant for Operations. “The Federal, state, local and industry co-operation to achieve this feat truly represents the whole-of-nation approach directed by the President and is essential to fighting the spread of this virus and working to minimise the loss of life.”