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Major cruise lines suspending operations at US ports for 30 days over coronavirus pandemic

(CNN) -- More than 50 cruise lines are suspending operations to and from US ports for 30 days due to the "unprecedented situation" of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a cruise line trade association.

The suspension begins at midnight, according to a statement from the Cruise Lines International Association. CLIA represents most of the major cruise lines, including Disney, Carnival, Princess, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean.

This follows earlier announcements, but affects all major lines, including Princess Cruises and cruise ship operator Viking. Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line announced suspensions in operations Friday.

Norwegian Cruise Line President and CEO Harry Somer said his cruise line planned to resume cruises beginning April 12.

"This has been a challenging time, but we hope that this decision will enable us to focus on the future and a return to normal as soon as possible," said CLIA President and CEO Kelly Craighead.

The CLIA statement said cruise lines are working on the return of ships at sea that are affected by the suspension.

Cruise lines around the world have been taking a hit from the coronavirus epidemic. Ships like the Diamond Princess, Grand Princess and Caribbean Princess all had passengers or crew members who tested positive for the infection. One ship, the Grand Princess, was even in limbo for days before docking at a non-commercial port.

President Trump tweeted Friday that the cruise suspension came "at my request."

The cruise industry supports more than 421,000 jobs in the US and annually contributes nearly $53 billion to the economy, CLIA said in a statement.

In Canada, the government has delayed the start of the cruise ship season in Canada, from April 2 to July 1. The delay applies to cruise ships capable of carrying more than 500 passengers and crew members.

The-CNN-Wire
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