The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has slightly eased risk level guidance for cruise ship passengers.
The CDC lowered its risk level for cruise travel during the pandemic from a level 4 “Very High,” or not safe to travel, to level 3 “High” for unvaccinated passengers after more than a year as upcoming sailings resume.
“Since the virus spreads more easily between people in close quarters aboard ships, the chance of getting COVID-19 on a cruise ship is high,” the updated CDC warning says, urging those who are not fully vaccinated that there’s an “increased risk of severe illness” and to avoid cruise ships and river cruises.
The CDC says those who decide to go on a cruise should get tested for COVID-19 one to three days before the scheduled trip and three to five days after the trip. Passengers who are not fully vaccinated are also advised to self-quarantine for a week after the cruise, even if they test negative, according to CDC guidelines, which also advise quarantining for 10 days after cruise travel if non-fully vaccinated travelers do not get tested.
CDC guidance says cruise operators can hit the seas for the summer once again from U.S. ports if 98% of crew members and 95% of travelers onboard ships are fully vaccinated.
The news of the lowered risk level warning comes after Royal Caribbean announced it postponed sailing its Odyssey of the Seas cruise ship “out of an abundance of caution” after eight crew members received a positive test result for COVID-19.
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