The cruise industry is striking a different tone too. On Friday, CLIA sent a combative statement saying that “singling out the travel and tourism industry, and cruise lines specifically” was “unreasonable” and “unwarranted.” On Sunday, a CLIA spokesperson said they’re “staying focused on development of an aggressive, responsive plan” for testing and evacuating sick people on ships that cruise executives agreed to Saturday during a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence.
CLIA said that plan, which could be deployed this week, “goes beyond the already significantly enhanced protocols in place, which we believe are a model for others.”
Cruise lines in recent days have begun to liberalize their cancellation policies to allow passengers to opt out of previously non-refundable travel plans, and offer incentives and freebies for those who do choose to cruise.
A Grand Princess cruise ship with 21 people on board who have tested positive for coronavirus that has been waiting off the coast of California since Wednesday will finally dock in Oakland on Monday. Then, passengers will be transferred to military installations for screening, testing and a 14-day quarantine, according to a plan by HHS.
A Regal Princess cruise ship that has similarly been stuck off the coast of Florida as two crew members awaited results of a coronavirus test has also been cleared to dock.
On Sunday, Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned that “the vulnerable” shouldn’t take “long trips” and “above all” shouldn’t go on cruises.
The new CDC guidance also warns the elderly and those with underlying health problems to avoid “non-essential travel such as long plane trips.”
The International Air Transport Association is forecasting 2020 global revenue losses for passenger air travel of between $63 billion and $113 billion, depending how quickly the virus is contained.
Airlines for America said airlines have waived change fees and enhanced disinfection and cleaning protocols and are in communication with airports, TSA and CBP on similar cleaning procedures in the airport.
Earlier this weekend, The Associated Press reported that the CDC was vetoed by the White House when it wanted to advise older people against flying commercially, which Pence’s press secretary has denied.
The World Health Organization says it “continues to advise against the application of travel or trade restrictions to countries experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks,” saying such restrictions tend to be “ineffective,” can disrupt the flow of aid and may have negative “social and economic effects.”