Nomura Analyst Blames CDC for Delays in Restarting Cruise Travel

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(Bloomberg) -- Cruise operators are being hampered by a lack of attention from federal regulators, according to one analyst.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown “limited interest” in discussing when and how cruising can resume, despite efforts by the major cruise operators, according to Nomura Instinet’s Harry Curtis. The companies established a panel of leading virologists and health policy expects and submitted suggestions for new protocols, the analyst said. A “no sail order” for U.S. waters has been in place since March 14 and is set to expire July 24.

“The industry has little recourse or avenues of appeal,” Curtis wrote in a research note. He estimates that it may take another three to six months for the CDC to respond to the expert panel’s recommendations. “By then, the 2020 season is over.”

Nomura Analyst Blames CDC for Delays in Restarting Cruise Travel

Several studies have suggested cruise ships are especially hospitable environments for the spread of disease. Curtis said the CDC’s stance on cruise lines still seems at odds with the reopening of other leisure businesses across the country, including casinos and resorts. The agency didn’t immediately respond to Bloomberg’s request for comment regarding its stance on the cruise industry and the analyst’s comments.

Cruise stocks fell Wednesday after Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. extended a suspension of global cruising through the end of September, saying that it will “continue to work in tandem” with the CDC, the federal government and global public health authorities “to take all necessary precautions to ensure the health, safety and security of guests, crew and the communities visited.” Norwegian fell as much as 10%, while Carnival Corp. dropped 8.6% and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. lost 9.2%.

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