Carnival to resume cruises in summer when virus order ends

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In this Monday, March 9, 2020 photo, the Carnival Liberty leaves Port Canaveral, Fla. Carnival Cruise Line announced the suspension of all of their cruises in North America through April 9, 2020, in response to the coronavirus threat. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

MIAMI (AP) — Carnival Cruise Line announced Monday it will start cruising again, from Florida and Texas, beginning in August. These Caribbean trips are the first announced by one of the major cruise lines since the coronavirus pandemic forced a near-total pause in the global cruise industry.

The ports of Miami, Cape Canaveral and Galveston, Texas were selected because they are accessible by car for the majority of the guests, the company said in a statement. The eight ships named by the company have itineraries showing stops in the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Mexico, among other places.

Carnival Cruise Line said ships will not be cruising from Alaska, Hawaii and Australia through Aug. 31.

The State Department began warning against cruise travel on March 8, and the CDC issued a no-sail order on March 14, which was extended and set to expire on July 24. The order prompted several countries, including some in the Caribbean, to reject cruise ships suspected of carrying infected passengers and crew members, stranding some ships at sea for weeks.

Many cruise ships had outbreaks at sea, with some passengers and crew members dying on board or after disembarking from international trips.

The CDC says infectious diseases can easily spread when crew members from a ship with an outbreak transfer to other ships. The health agency says outbreaks of COVID-19 on cruise ships pose a risk because they can spread the disease into communities across the world after disembarkation.

Carnival Cruise Line has not revealed what measures is taking to prevent future outbreaks once it resumes sailing.

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