The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lowered its travel advisory for cruise ships on March 14. It’s the lowest level the agency has issued since the pandemic first started and the cruise industry suspension in March 2020. It confirms that cruising is safely making a comeback and is a safe form of vacation.
CDC Cruise Travel Advisory Now Moderate
The cruise industry has proved it can offer great cruise vacations safely and is putting the pandemic behind as cases reduce and more vessels resume operations. The CDC has lowered its travel advisory for cruise ships again, reiterating that cruising is still heading in the right direction.
The travel notice is now at level 2, the lowest since the start of the pandemic and when the cruise industry suspension first started in 2020. The CDC now says, “Make sure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before cruise ship travel.”
Just as the previous level 3, the CDC says, “Getting vaccinated is still the best way to protect yourself from severe disease, slow the spread of COVID-19, and reduce the number of new variants.”
It continues to say within the notice, “The THN for cruise ship travel represents the status of the COVID-19 pandemic at this time. For travelers booking cruise travel now, be aware that the level may change as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves and may be different by the time of your cruise.”
The advisory was last updated on February 15, 2022, when it was lowered from level 4 to level 3. At the time, the Cruise Line International Association (CDC) welcomed the news:
“The decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to lower the Travel Health Notice threat level for cruise ships is a step in the right direction and recognizes the leadership and effectiveness of the cruise sector’s health and safety protocols that are unmatched by virtually any other commercial setting.”
There are criteria for deciding the travel advisory for cruise ships. The primary criteria are measured on the number of cumulative new COVID cases among the crew over the past 14 days. The highest travel advisory is at level 4 when there are more than 2,000 cases.
Cruising has remained safe with cruise lines implementing strict protocols guidance from the CDC and health experts. There are procedures in place to deal with any cases.
More cruise ships are back sailing with guests onboard, and cruise ships operating in US waters are under the CDC’s voluntary program. Readers can check the status of cases for each vessel within the program on the CDC’s Cruise Ship Color Status page.