CDC issues level 4 “very high risk” for all cruise travel

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The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their guidance for travelers on Thursday, advising them not to board a cruise ship at this time, even if they have been fully vaccinated. the official notice went from a level 3 to a level 4, which corresponds to a “very high” risk warning.

This week’s travel update comes after more than 5,000 cases of Covid were detected aboard cruise ships sailing in U.S. waters between December 15 and December 29. Cases have been detected among passengers and crew, and this is a drastic increase from the first two weeks of December, when a total of 162 cases were reported.

person carrying a backpack and wearing a hat walking towards a ship to embark on a cruise

According to the agency’s website, more and more cruise ships are reaching the CDC’s investigation threshold due to the recent increase in the number of cases. The agency currently monitors more than 90 cruise ships.

“The virus that causes Covid-19 easily spreads between nearby people on ships, and the chance of getting Covid-19 on cruise ships is very high, even if you are fully vaccinated and have been given a dose of recall of the Covid-19 vaccine, “the agency said in a statement following the recent update to the travel advisory.

woman with mask and holding sun hat on deck of cruise ship

Updated CDC guidelines from level 3 warning issued in June

After more than a year of closure, a number of cruises set sail last summer while others are on hiatus until 2022.

On June 17, the CDC lowered its advisory for cruise travel that was put in place at the start of the pandemic from a Level 4 to a Level 3. Some major US cruise lines have updated their guidelines so that travelers prepare for operations.

close up of a healthcare worker wearing blue protective gloves holding a covid test

Do I have to be tested before going on a cruise?

Among the guidelines, cruise ship travelers are advised to be fully vaccinated and take a Covid test a few days before boarding the ship.

Here’s a breakdown of the official CDC guidelines for all cruise ship travelers:

  • Even fully vaccinated travelers are still at risk of catching and / or transmitting the virus on board a cruise ship.
  • Travelers eligible for a recall should obtain one prior to travel
  • People should take a Covid test 1-3 days before boarding a cruise ship
  • All people should have another test 3-5 after the cruise, even if they are fully vaccinated and have no symptoms
  • Unvaccinated people should self-isolate for at least 5 days after cruise travel
  • Persons aboard a cruise must wear a face mask over their mouth and nose in all public areas of the ship
Cruise ship in downtown Port of Miami Florida

How risky are cruise ship trips right now?

Even if you are traveling on a cruise during this time, there is still a risk of infection on board. In addition, the ship may have to make unscheduled stopovers or change the itinerary due to sudden travel restrictions. And if there is an outbreak on board, the ship may not be able to dock at nearby ports, which was a major issue in the spring of 2020.

Following a recent event where a ship was not allowed to dock in Puerto Vallarta, the Mexican government on Tuesday issued a statement saying it would allow cruise ships to dock at its ports even though some of the passengers and crew members on board have tested positive for the virus.

person with mask on cruise ship outdoors looking at water

According to the statement, people on the ship who are not infected and showing no symptoms will be able to disembark normally, while those who test positive or show symptoms will receive medical treatment or be quarantined.

If you wish to cancel your cruise, some cruise lines such as Carnival Cruises temporarily waive their cancellation fees. Check with your cruise line for the latest terms and conditions.

cruise ship docked and passengers relaxing outside

Will I still be covered by insurance if I take a cruise?

With sudden travel restrictions and travel disruptions happening left and right right now, consider purchasing a travel insurance package with a “cancel for some reason” upgrade. This will cover you if you decide to cancel your trip at the last minute.

Depending on the cruise departure port, a number of major cruise lines in the United States require unvaccinated passengers aged 12 and over to present proof of travel health insurance coverage before embarking on the cruise ship. ship. Always check with your cruise line before booking a trip, as you may not be reimbursed if you do not have the right travel insurance.

Every travel insurance policy is different, so check to see if you have “Do not travel” or “High Risk” warnings on your policy, which may limit you from getting coverage if you decide to travel. If you’re looking for more ideas, you can also check out our recent article on travel insurance that covers Omicron.

open water cruise ship

Read more:

Travel insurance that covers Covid-19 for 2021

Entry requirements to Curaçao Covid for travel in 2022

US issues level 4 “do not travel” warnings for 9 other countries

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Disclaimer: Current Travel Rules and Restrictions may change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and / or local authorities to confirm entry of your nationality and / or any change in travel conditions before traveling. Travel Off Path does not approve travel against government advice

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