CDC: ‘All people’ should avoid cruise ship travel due to COVID-19 risk

CDC asks 'all people' to avoid all cruise ship travel

Officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended over the weekend that “all people avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises, worldwide” due to the high risk of COVID-19 exposure.

Health officials warned that cruise passengers face an increased risk of spreading infectious diseases, including COVID-19. The CDC recommended that people who plan to go on a cruise get tested three to five days before their trips, and stay home for seven days after they travel.

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“Even if you test negative, stay home for the full 7 days,” CDC officials said in a COVID-19 travel notice issued Saturday. “If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home for 14 days after you travel.”

Last month, the CDC issued a framework for a phased resumption of cruise ship operations after months under a no-sail order prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. Several cruise ship operators, including Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean and Disney Cruise Line, have canceled planned sailings through the end of the year as they work to reach compliance with the CDC’s COVID-19 protocols.

Health officials recommend that people who are scheduled to take cruises in the coming weeks reschedule for future dates. People who decide to embark on cruises despite the risk are encouraged not to board if they feel sick or if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19 in 14 days before setting sail. Officials with the CDC said people should wear masks, wash their hands often and continue to practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from people outside of their traveling parties.

“If you get sick with symptoms of COVID-19, stay in your cabin and notify the onboard medical center immediately,” health officials said.