CDC Updates Cruise Guidance, Asks at-Risk Travelers to Avoid

  • The CDC has said that those with “increased risk for severe illness” should avoid cruise travel.
  • This guidance should be applied even if the person is fully vaccinated. 
  • Those at risk include older adults and people with a medical condition.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its guidance on cruise travel. 

In an updated statement posted to the organization’s website on Friday, the CDC now recommends “travelers who are at increased risk for severe illness avoid cruise ship travel, regardless of vaccination status.”

People in this category include older adults over the age of 45 and people with pre-existing medical conditions, such as cancer or heart conditions, according to the CDC website.

Previous guidance posted to the website states that cruise travelers should be fully vaccinated and that they should get tested for COVID-19 between one and three days before their trip and between three and five days after their trip, regardless of vaccination status.

The CDC added that if a traveler is not fully vaccinated, they should self-quarantine for seven days upon their return even if they test negative for COVID-19. If they do not get tested they should self-quarantine for 10 days. 

There were numerous instances of COVID-19 spreading on cruise ships at the beginning of the pandemic, with many travelers ending up stranded on ships for weeks at a time and forced to self-isolate in their cabins.

International cruises were temporarily put on hold in the US and around the world for more than a year. Although cruise travel has now resumed for some operators, there have been recent instances of COVID-19 outbreaks on board some ships.

For instance, 26 staff members and one passenger on board a Carnival Cruise Line ship tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month. The incident led Carnival to update its rules, including increased mask-wearing indoors, the use of N95 masks by the crew, and closing of crew social areas, Insider’s Zahra Tayeb reported.

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