The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises people to avoid traveling by cruise ship, whether they are vaccinated or not, due to the recent surge in positive cases as the Omicron variant continues to spread worldwide.
The CDC’s latest update, elevating its travel warning for cruise ships to Level 4, the highest level, is based on how quickly and easily the Omicron variant spreads between people sharing close quarters. Therefore, the agency encourages passengers who do decide to board a cruise ship to get fully vaccinated and get a booster dose if needed.
As expected, the cruise industry responded quite forcefully, especially after trying to rebound from a couple of difficult years. Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has expressed disappointment with the CDC’s warning, calling it “perplexing,” but adding it will remain committed to working with the agency to ensure passenger health and safety.
CLIA’s statement further emphasizes that “Vaccination rates onboard a cruise ship typically are upwards of 95 percent—significantly higher than the overall U.S. population which is hovering at 62 percent.
“The latest data show that, even with higher rates of testing, the cruise industry continues to achieve significantly lower rates of occurrence of COVID-19—33 percent lower than onshore.”
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