CDC investigates COVID cases on cruise ships: Omicron threatens another break
Cruise passengers are under pressure to temporarily stop sailing as they grapple with the worst COVID outbreaks since resuming travel in the summer.
Driving the news: The CDC said Thursday that all travelers should avoid cruises, regardless of their vaccination status.
Why is this important: Cruise passengers could be put back into crisis mode if they are forced to take a break or are limited to certain destinations.
- As of Thursday, 91 ships were facing CDC investigations into COVID cases. That’s the maximum since the agency allowed cruises to restart from U.S. ports this summer, CDC spokeswoman Jasmine Reed confirmed.
- Disney, Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian are among those affected despite a mix of vaccine requirements and mask rules.
- “I feel like I just spent last week at a superspreader event,” said Ashley Peterson, a 34-year-old passenger. told the Washington Post after his ship, the Carnival Freedom, was turned away from a Caribbean port due to infections on board.
Threat level: “It’s time for the CDC and cruise lines to protect consumers and take a break again – dock their ships,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said on twitter. “Cruises repeat recent history in the form of petri dishes of COVID infection. “
Inventory: the the cruise industry has called the CDC’s new travel advisory “puzzled.”
- “No environment can be safe from this virus – however, it is also true that cruising offers one of the highest levels of attenuation demonstrated against the virus,” said Bari Golin-Blaugrund, spokesperson. word of the Cruise Lines International Association, in a press release. .
- “Cruise ships provide a highly controlled environment with science-based measurements, known tests and vaccination levels far superior to other sites or modes of transport and travel, and incidence rates significantly lower than those of firm ground. “
And after: As Omicron spreads, cruise ships may be forced to impose more restrictions or suspend navigation.