On Tuesday, the Cruise Lines International Association, which represents 95% of major global cruise lines, said its members would maintain the ongoing voluntary suspension of cruise operations in the U.S. through December 31, 2020.
In a press release, its members said it would "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."
The CLIA said those measures include testing all passengers and crew members, expanding onboard medical capabilities, and trial sailings.
In the statement, the members said they agreed to extend the suspension to "provide additional time to align the industry's extensive preparation of health protocols with the implementation requirements under the CDC's Framework for Conditional Sailing and Initial Phase COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Protection of Crew. We recognize the devastating impact that the pandemic continues to have on the 421,000 Americans whose livelihoods are connected directly to cruise operations. We will work with urgency to advance a responsible return to cruising while maintaining a focus on effective, science-based measures to protect public health."
The cruise industry group estimates that cruises' suspension has resulted in a loss of more than $25 billion in economic activity and 164,000 American jobs.