The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its COVID-19 Travel Health Notice from Level 3 to Level 4, the highest level. This reflects increases in cases onboard cruise ships since the identification of the Omicron variant.
From the CDC website:
Key Information for Cruise Ship Travelers
- Avoid cruise travel, regardless of vaccination status.
- Even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants.
- The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads easily between people in close quarters on board ships, and the chance of getting COVID-19 on cruise ships is very high, even if you are fully vaccinated and have received a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose.
- Outbreaks of COVID-19 have been reported on cruise ships.
- If you travel on a cruise ship, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel and get a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose if you are eligible.
- People who go on a cruise should get tested 1–3 days before their trip and 3–5 days after their trip, regardless of vaccination status or symptoms.
- Along with testing, passengers who are not fully vaccinated should self-quarantine for a full 5 days after cruise travel.
The CDC advises that “if you travel on a cruise ship, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel and get a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose if you are eligible. 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. People who are not fully vaccinated should follow additional recommendations before, during, and after travel.”
You can read the full statement along with additional valuable information regarding cruise ship travel during the COVID pandemic on the official CDC website.
Some of you may have heard that the Disney Fantasy was not able to visit St. Thomas today “due to both an increase in COVID-19 cases on the island and a small number of fully vaccinated Crew Members and Guests – less than 1% of those on board – in isolation for COVID-19” according to an official statement from Disney Cruise Line. You can join the discussion regarding this over on DISboards.com.
In response to the CDC’s recommendation of avoiding cruises at this time, Cruise Lines International Association has issued the statement below via its Twitter account.