An undated image of the Holland American Lines cruise ship Oosterdam in San Diego Harbor. Photo: Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Americans are among thousands of cruise ship workers stuck at sea because of a CDC order issued in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak. But the CDC says it's up to cruise liners to ensure they meet the legal safety requirements during the pandemic.

The big picture: The CDC said in its No Sail Order extension announcement on April 9 that the Coast Guard was monitoring some 120 cruise ships in U.S. waters with nearly 80,000 crew members on board and this is still the case, per CBS News, which reported Wednesday 132 Americans were "marooned on cruise ships owned by Carnival Cruise Line companies" — including nine aboard the Oosterdam who were denied disembarkation at Los Angeles Tuesday.

Details: The American crew on the Holland America Line ship appealed for help after they were prevented from going to L.A., according to USA Today, which notes the Oosterdam's passengers left the vessel in March and that there were no coronavirus cases on the ship.

  • Some of the staff have been on the liner that docked at the Port of San Pedro since Feb. 21, crew member Melinda Mann, from Georgia, told Fox 11.
  • "I'm not sick. I've offered to take a COVID test. I've offered to quarantine for 2 weeks ashore, but the CDC won't let us in, and our ship is trying everything they can to get us home," Mann told the news outlet.

What they're saying: The CDC told Fox 11 under the No Sail Order, "cruise lines must develop and implement a comprehensive plan to prevent, detect, respond, and contain COVID-19 on cruise ships for both passengers and crew." It noted the disembarkations were approved for other cruise lines that met these requirements in the past two weeks.

  • "The refusal of Holland America and Carnival executives to attest to safe disembarkation conditions is the reason why CDC did not approve disembarkation for the Oosterdam crew," the CDC said. "In conversations with CDC, an official of the companies complained that arranging nonpublic transportation for its disembarking crew was too expensive."
"Because Holland America and Carnival failed to provide the safety attestation, disembarkation would have violated the No Sail Order and federal laws. ... Rather than comply with the No Sail Order and disembark its American crew, the Oosterdam departed. CDC has an obligation to ensure that cruise disembarkations do not harm public health. CDC stands ready to fulfill that obligation and authorize disembarkation as soon as Holland America and Carnival assure local, State, and Federal health authorities that the companies have taken sufficient precautions."  
— CDC statement to Fox 11

The other side: Holland America said in a statement to news outlets that "no crew were permitted to disembark from Oosterdam" on Tuesday and the firm was continuing to work with the CDC "to obtain approval to disembark crew in the U.S. for immediate return home under their current No Sail Order which does not allow us to do so at this time, including for U.S. citizens."

"We are working to repatriate thousands of crew who come from over 100 countries around the world. Our entire company remains focused on returning them safely home to their loved ones as soon as possible."
— Holland America statement

Go deeper: Carnival CEO defends coronavirus response

Go deeper

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: Many U.S. deaths were avoidable — The pandemic is getting worse again.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.
Aug 7, 2020 - Health

Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases

Gov. Charlie Baker at Boston MedFlight Headquarters on Aug. 4. Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced Friday that the state's second phase of reopening is "postponed indefinitely" in response to a modest increase in coronavirus cases.

The big picture: The state is reporting more COVID-19 deaths than most others across the U.S. outside of domestic epicenters like California, or previous hotspots including New Jersey and New York, per a New York Times database.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!