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CDC Raises Warning for Cruise Ship Travel to Highest Level
CDC Lowers Travel Warning on Cruises, Says Cruising Safe for Vaccinated Travelers
The CDC in Atlanta, Georgia (Photo: bear_productions/Shutterstock.com)

CDC Lowers Travel Warning on Cruises, Says Cruising Safe for Vaccinated Travelers

CDC Lowers Travel Warning on Cruises, Says Cruising Safe for Vaccinated Travelers
The CDC in Atlanta, Georgia (Photo: bear_productions/Shutterstock.com)

June 17, 2021

Fran Golden
Contributor
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(11:15 a.m. EDT) -- Some good news from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) -- the agency has removed the travel health warning on cruise if you have gotten double jabbed.

As far as the agency is concerned, if you're fully vaccinated you're good to cruise.

The news is less jolly for those who have not been vaccinated -- in the new notice, the CDC recommends that those who are not fully vaccinated avoid travel on ocean and river ships worldwide.

However, the CDC did replace its Level 4 Very High Risk warning, which had been in place for more than a year and applied to all cruisers, with a lower Level 3 High Risk of COVID-19 for unvaccinated passengers.

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"Since the virus spreads more easily between people in close quarters aboard ships, the chance of getting COVID-19 on cruise ships is high," the agency explains. "It is especially important that people who are not fully vaccinated with an increased risk of severe illness avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises."

The CDC statement continues: "Cruise passengers who are not fully vaccinated are more likely to get COVID-19, which spreads person-to-person, and outbreaks of COVID-19 have been reported on cruise ships."

For unvaccinated travelers who do decide to go on a cruise, the CDC recommends they get tested one to three days before their trip as well as three to five days after their trip.

"In addition to testing, passengers who are not fully vaccinated should self-quarantine for seven days after cruise travel, even if they test negative. If they do not get tested, they should self-quarantine for 10 days after cruise travel," the agency recommends.

The CDC also recommends that while cruising, passengers who are not vaccinated wear masks in shared spaces and maintain social distancing of at least six feet both indoors and outdoors on the ship.

Specific requirements and recommendations for cruise lines regarding vaccinated and unvaccinated guests are outlined in in CDC's Conditional Sailing Order. Cruise lines have some leeway to set their own rules regarding vaccine requirements and passenger testing.

The CDC is currently considering applications from cruise lines for both test cruises and restricted revenue cruises with guests. To apply for a revenue cruise, the cruise line has to commit to sailing with a minimum of 95 percent of guests vaccinated. Ships already approved to sail with guests include Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Equinox and Carnival Vista, Carnival Breeze and Carnival Horizon.

On June 26, Celebrity Edge is scheduled to depart from Fort Lauderdale, the first ship to sail from the U.S. since March 2020.

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