Wednesday, April 01, 2020
The U.S. Coast Guard is telling foreign-flagged cruise ships to be prepared to care for people with COVID-19 for an "indefinite period of time" at sea or to seek help from countries other than the U.S., citing a health care system that is being overwhelmed. ... The new medical requirements apply to any vessel carrying more than 50 people. It also singles out cruise ships that are registered in the Bahamas - referring to many of the ships owned by large cruise lines such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian.
Foreign-flagged ships are the norm in the cruise industry. By registering ships in the Bahamas, Panama and other countries, cruise companies can avoid U.S. taxes as well as employment and environmental laws. But now, the Coast Guard is telling those companies that their ships should seek medical care in the countries where they are registered, rather than rely on the U.S.
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