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COVID-19: US CDC Removes Health Warning for Cruise Ship Travellers

by Kunle Awosiyan
Cruise Ship

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has removed its warning against going on a cruise ship due to Covid-19. The CDC website removed the warning from its website after previously dropping the warning level to level 2.

Plummeting Covid cases on cruise ships as a result of the cruise industry’s effective health protocols have meant the government agency sees no reason to warn the public against traveling on a ship as a risk for catching Covid.

The CDC last lowered the warning level to level 2 on February 15, 2022.

The CDC website now just talks about being up to date with Covid-19 vaccines before going on a cruise, and sharing its recommendations for how to keep yourself safe while traveling.

The CDC recommends anyone going on a cruiseCruise ship

Check cruise line requirements for testing and/or vaccination
Get travel insurance
If traveling by air, check airline requirements.
Wear a well-fitting mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation.
Brilliance of the Seas side docked
The rest of the recommendations center around not traveling if you have or had Covid and how to protect yourself and others.

Cruise industry reaction

As you might imagine, the cruise industry welcomed this change by the CDC.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) issued a statement following the removal of the warning, “Today’s decision by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to altogether remove the Travel Health Notice for cruising recognizes the effective public health measures in place on cruise ships and begins to level the playing field, between cruise and similarly situated venues on land, for the first time since March 2020.”

From the onset of the pandemic, CLIA’s cruise line members have prioritized the health and safety of their guests, crew, and the communities they visit and are sailing today with health measures in place that are unmatched by virtually any other commercial setting.”

A full circle for the CDC

Throughout the previous two years, the CDC and the cruise industry have been at odds with views of how safe going on a cruise ship is due to Covid-19.

Following the cruise industry voluntarily shutting down in March 2020, the CDC banned cruise ship travel in the United States. This ban would remain in place for many months while the CDC and cruise industry worked to craft new regulations to ensure its return would be safe for all guests, crew members, and the communities ships visit.

There was a lot of back and forth, and the CDC held the cruise ships to a different standard from other forms of leisure travel.

Following the Omicron variant, the CDC began relaxing its view of risks of going on a cruise ship. The CDC lowered its warning level, while at the same time relaxing health protocols.

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