By Robert Preidt and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
health day reporter
THURSDAY, March 31, 2022 (HealthDay News) — A two-year-old advisory that warned Americans against cruises has been dropped by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The agency first warned Americans against cruise ship travel in 2020 at the height of the pandemic, and last year said there was an increased risk of getting infected on ships crowded, CBS News reported.
“While cruising will always pose some risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers will make their own risk assessment when choosing to travel on a cruise ship, much like they do in all other travel settings. “, according to a statement from the CDC published on Wednesday.
The agency always advises passengers to get up-to-date vaccinations before boarding a cruise ship and suggests travelers seek medical attention if they are immunocompromised or at higher risk of serious illness.
The CDC’s decision to lift the travel advisory “recognizes the effective public health measures in place on cruise ships and begins to level the playing field, between cruises and similarly located land sites, for the first times since March 2020,” industry group Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said in a statement.
Earlier this year, Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean lifted their mask mandates as COVID-related cases and deaths declined in the United States, CBS News reported.
Last summer, cruise lines added vaccination and testing requirements to ships departing from US ports. But the requirements haven’t stopped passengers from catching the virus: An unknown number of passengers and crew aboard a Princess Cruise ship in California tested positive last weekend during a 15 day cruise to the Panama Canal.
Cruise lines were plagued by outbreaks of COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic. The number of people booking cruises has plummeted during the pandemic and cruise lines have collectively lost $63 billion and cut thousands of jobs in 2020 and 2021, CBS News reported.
Visit the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to learn more about COVID and cruise ship travel.
THE SOURCE: CBS News