As we recently reported, the White House has set the end date for the Center for Disease Control’s current No Sail Order at October 31st, 2020. Yesterday, Vice President Mike Pence hosted a conference call with government officials and U.S. cruise industry representatives to discuss the order, as well as the ripple effects that COVID-19 has had on the cruise industry. The participants also reviewed Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the Healthy Sail Panel’s proposed plan regarding the resumption of sailing.
Joining the Vice President on the call were: Dr. Robert Redfield (CDC Director), Alex Azar (Secretary of Health and Human Services), Mike Leavitt of the Healthy Sail Panel (past Governor and HHS Secretary), and cruise line executives from across the industry, including Disney’s Thomas Malzoum. Malzoum currently serves as the President of Disney Signature Experiences, the arm of The Walt Disney Company that governs Disney Cruise Line.
According to the official White House summary of the call, “HHS Secretary Azar and CDC Director Redfield touched on their commitment to the collaborative effort that produced the Healthy Sail Panel’s 74 recommendations, and the Federal government’s support of the industry to safely and responsibly sail again, but cautioned that the cruise industry would have to backstop their venture to resume operations”.
Governor Leavitt provided background information regarding the process by which the Healthy Sail Panel built their proposal, the result of which “…needed to be practical and prioritized safety”.
The proposal for the resumption of sailing now goes to the Task Force, who will ultimately present it to the President in an effort to iron out how to proceed with regard to the No Sail Order.