New CDC Recommendations for Cruisers

Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas: The World’s Largest Cruise Ship Will Sail Again in August.This past Friday the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance for those thinking of taking a cruise and, to no one’s surprise, they are recommending people take extra precautions, especially the vulnerable.

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Cruisers who are at an elevated risk for severe illness should avoid vacationing on a cruise ship, no matter if they have been fully vaccinated or not, says the CDC.

This tightening of guidelines comes in the wake of surging cases throughout the USA with the country reporting 987,417 new cases on the day the new guidelines were issued. 6,037 virus-related deaths were reported in the last week.

The CDC reminded those proposing to take a cruise that the close quarters aboard ships allows the virus to be spread easily.  Despite testing every passenger prior to the cruise in the ship ports, outbreaks of Covid-19 have been reported on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and several other lines who have resumed sailing in 2021.

Disney Magic in AlaskaOther lines, like Cunard and Disney Cruise Line have had to delay sailings due to crew members receiving positive test results, despite all crew being required to be fully vaccinated.

The CDC said people who do decide to cruise, regardless of vaccination status, should get tested 1–3 days before their trip and 3–5 days after they disembark.

The CDC recommendations also states that unvaccinated (or not yet fully vaccinated) people should avoid cruise ships, including traveling on river cruises, worldwide.

However, unvaccinated cruise passengers who do chose to sail are recommended to self-quarantine for 7 days after cruise travel, even if they test negative. If they choose not get tested, they should self-quarantine for 10 days post disembarkation.

It seems many Americans didn’t need the advice of the CDC to scale back travel, at least by air.

Commercial plane ticket sales for the week ending Sunday, August 15, were down 41.1 percent compared with 2019. This is the worst result since the week May of 2021. It could be coinciding with the end of summer, but many attribute the drop to the spreading Delta variant.

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Nicola Barton

Nicola's dream was to visit all 7 continents and did so by her 40th birthday. However she knows there are still hundreds of places to explore and is packing her suitcase as we speak!

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