CDC lowers cruise ship travel warning again

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is again lowering the advisory for cruise ship travel.

On Monday, the CDC dropped its cruise ship warning from Level 3: High to Level 2: Moderate, the second major change this year after last month’s drop from Level 4: Very High to Level 3.

According to the CDC, the change “represents the state of the COVID-19 pandemic at this time,” an acknowledgment of how far the health situation has come since the CDC effectively shut down the entire industry during the most of 2020.

The new warning advises travelers to ensure they are up to date with vaccinations before cruise ship travel and to always avoid cruise travel if they are at increased risk of serious illness from COVID-19 and if they are not up to date with vaccines.

“The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads easily between close people on ships, and the risk of contracting COVID-19 on a cruise ship is moderate, even if you are up to date with your COVID vaccinations. -19″, indicates the warning. .

The CDC still recommends passengers take a COVID-19 test as close to departure time as possible and wear a face mask indoors or in crowded outdoor environments.

Even though the CDC lowered its warning and allowed its Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) to expire in January, cruise ships operating in the United States have all continued to voluntarily participate in the program, which tracks levels of COVID- 19 on board.

A total of 112 cruise ships continue to operate under the CSO, and of these, 108 are considered “highly vaccinated ships”, meaning they sail with at least 95% fully vaccinated travelers. . Most of those 112 ships (56) reported zero COVID-19 cases on board, and only 20 reported enough cases to meet the CDC’s investigation threshold. No ship reported a number at or above the CDC’s investigation threshold, which is infection in more than 0.3% of total passengers or crew.

Yet the cruise ship experience has changed since the pandemic began.

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