The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has updated its cruise ship travel notice for travelers at high risk for COVID to avoid all cruise ship travel. The update impacts all U.S. cruise operations.
CDC Updates Cruise Travel Notice
The CDC updated its cruise travel notice on August 20, which impacts travelers who are more at risk of catching severe illness regardless of vaccination status. The summary says, “People with an increased risk of severe illness should also avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises, regardless of vaccination status.”
Those under the increased risk of severe illness from COVID include a wide range of people, such as older adults. According to the CDC, “More than 80% of COVID-19 deaths occur in people over age 65, and more than 95% of COVID-19 deaths occur in people older than 45.”
People with certain underlying medical conditions, including those who are overweight, are also under the high-risk category. The CDC says that those who are are more at risk may need hospitalization, intensive care, and a ventilator to help breathe.
A lot of this comes as the Delta variant is a cause of concern and continues to spread. Recently cruise lines have increased their onboard and pre-cruise protocols for this reason, with many now requiring fully vaccinated passengers to show a negative test result before cruising. You can check who is at increased risk for severe illness on the CDC website.
The new update is in addition to the recommendations already in place, including travelers who are not fully vaccinated to avoid cruise travel. People should still wear masks when in shared spaces, and non-vaccinated people should still self-quarantine for seven days after cruise travel.
The Bahamas recently issued an emergency order for cruise passengers 12 and over to be fully vaccinated to be allowed entry at any of its ports, including the private islands. For now, the CDC level remains at 3, and cruising continues.
We could see cruise lines implement details on their protocol pages with the new CDC recommendations. Cruise lines have already said they remain committed to the CDC guidance on keeping guests and crew safe.