The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned people on Thursday against going on cruises, regardless of their vaccination status, because of an outbreak caused by the omicron variant. .
The CDC says it has more than 90 cruise ships under investigation or observation as a result of COVID-19 cases. The agency did not disclose the number of infections.
“The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads easily among people who are in close proximity to each other on a ship, and the likelihood of catching COVID-19 on a cruise ship is very high,” even if everyone has been vaccinated, the CDC says. Full room and booster injection. .
The International Travel Association said it was disappointed with the new recommendations, saying the industry had been scrapped despite the fact it adhered to strict health protocols compared with other travel sectors.
The decision “is particularly puzzling considering that cases identified on cruise ships always represent a very small minority of the total population on board,” a statement said. “The majority of those cases are asymptomatic or mild in nature, placing little burden on medical resources on board or ashore.”
In March 2020, as the coronavirus persisted in the US, the CDC halted all travel for an extended period of 15 months. Last June, it allowed ships to continue sailing under new, rigorous new conditions.
In August, when delta variation spiked, the agency warned people at risk of severe illness despite being vaccinated against cruises.
The CDC on Thursday also recommended that passengers be screened and quarantined for five days after landing, regardless of their immunization status and even if they have no symptoms.
Omicron has sent cases skyrocketing to unprecedented levels across the United States, including Florida, the heart of the nation’s travel industry. The state set another record this week for daily new cases, with more than 58,000 cases recorded as of Wednesday.
US cruise lines have not announced any plans to halt the sailings, although the ships have been denied entry at several foreign ports.
Carnival Corp. spokesman Roger Frizzell said in an email following the CDC recommendation that the company has no plans to change.
“Our enhanced health and safety protocols have proven to be effective time and time again over the past year,” he said.
Ahead of the CDC’s announcement, Royal Caribbean Group said in a statement that the omicron was leading to passenger cancellations and itinerary changes, but it was causing “significantly less severe symptoms than the variables.” previous body”.
The company said that since cruise operations resumed in US waters last spring, 1.1 million guests have traveled on its cruise lines and 1,745 have had their test results. positive for COVID-19, or about 0.16%.
It said 41 people were hospitalized and none of the passengers hit by the omicron drug were taken to hospital.
“We don’t want to see even one case, but our experience is a fraction of the comparable statistics of virtually any other comparable location or industry. Richard Fain, CEO of Royal Caribbean, said.
Most cruise lines require adult passengers to present proof of their COVID-19 vaccination. Ships are allowed to relax measures such as the use of masks if at least 95% of passengers and 95% of crew are fully vaccinated.
Janine Calfo, 55, of Salt Lake City, made the four-day Carnival cruise from Long Beach, California, to Ensenada, Mexico, earlier this month when she received a breakout case of COVID- 19 three days before departure. She has re-registered the cruise for February and is still working on it.
“This is my own personal opinion, but it looks like the omicron will burn out quickly,” said Calfo, who has asthma and plans to buy a booster in a few weeks. “My trip is more than 40 days away.”
However, she added: “I think this time I will plan to buy travel insurance.”
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https://www.winknews.com/2021/12/30/cdc-warns-against-cruises-regardless-of-vaccination-status/ CDC warns against travel, regardless of vaccination status