WASHINGTON — Federal health officials are extending the U.S. ban on cruise ships through the end September as coronavirus infections rise in most U.S. states, including Florida.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that it was extending a no-sail order that had been scheduled to expire July 24.
Major cruise lines that belong to an industry trade group had already canceled cruises until Sept. 15 because of ongoing discussions with federal officials over how to restart operations safely.
Coronavirus infections are rising in 40 states, and daily deaths have climbed more than 20 percent from a week ago. Florida, where many cruises begin and end, reported nearly 14,000 new virus cases and set a single-day record of 156 deaths reported on Thursday, beating the previous high of 132 deaths reported Tuesday.
From March 1 through July 10, there have been nearly 3,000 cases of COVID-19 or similar illnesses and 34 deaths on cruise ships, according to the CDC. There have been 99 outbreaks covering 80 percent of the ships in U.S. waters, the CDC said.
Major cruise lines are trying to save cash and raise more money on the private credit markets to survive the pandemic. Carnival Corp. said last week that it expects to burn about $20 million a day in cash through the rest of this year.
• • •
Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage
HOW CORONAVIRUS IS SPREADING IN FLORIDA: Find the latest numbers for your county, city or zip code.
LATEST ON CORONAVIRUS: Six things we’ve learned about the coronavirus since March.
MASK UPDATE: Find out where you have to wear a mask in Tampa Bay
FILING TAXES?: What to know about the July 15 tax deadline
GET THE DAYSTARTER MORNING UPDATE: Sign up to receive the most up-to-date information.
HAVE A TIP?: Send us confidential news tips
We’re working hard to bring you the latest news on the coronavirus in Florida. This effort takes a lot of resources to gather and update. If you haven’t already subscribed, please consider buying a print or digital subscription.