Morning Brew - ☕️ Can't go home
This week, the U.S. Coast Guard told cruise ships with passengers possibly COVID-19 positive to stay offshore “indefinitely.”
The details: Foreign-flagged ships carrying 50+ passengers were directed to treat sick people at sea or seek help from the countries where they’re registered, since the U.S. healthcare system is already buckling.
The issue? They can’t go home. Lots of Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian ships are registered in countries like the Bahamas to avoid U.S. tax, employment, and environmental laws—but those countries are even more strapped than the U.S. for hospital beds.
- FYI, Carnival said Tuesday it has over 6,000 passengers still at sea, where they’ve been since at least March 13 (the date new sailings were halted).
Big picture: Already facing an indefinite slump in demand, cruise companies wanted to hear this news like you want a root canal. Carnival just upped the size of a rescue bond package backed by its ships to $4 billion...and warned it still might only have enough cash to survive eight more months.