On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially lowered its travel alert level for cruising to a Level 3. Cruising has remained under a Level 4 warning suggesting that it is not safe for anyone to cruise with the COVID-19 pandemic not being under control.
In the updated warning, the CDC notes that cruising is now at a Level 3 and also that it is intended for travelers who are not fully vaccinated.
CDC recommends that people who are not fully vaccinated avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises, worldwide. Since the virus spreads more easily between people in close quarters aboard ships, the chance of getting COVID-19 on cruise ships is high. 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.
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.
People who decide to go on a cruise should get tested 1–3 days before their trip and 3–5 days after their trip.
In addition to testing, passengers who are not fully vaccinated should self-quarantine for 7 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 CDC has given a conditional sailing certificate to cruise lines who can guarantee that they will sail with 98% of their crew and 95% of their passengers fully vaccinated.
If a cruise line cannot provide the proof of vaccinated passengers and crew to meet those percentages, the CDC will require cruise ships to perform a test sailing which Disney Cruise Line has scheduled for the end of June.
Royal Caribbean and Disney Cruise Line have opted for the test sailings since they cater to a lot of families. As we know, there is no vaccine option for children under the age of 12 just yet, and those CDC thresholds would be difficult to meet because of it.
At the same time, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has an executive order in place and has signed a law that goes into effect July 1st that would fine any company that requires proof of vaccination $5,000 per instance.
Source: Orlando Sentinel