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CDC New Cruise Warning Focuses On Unvaccinated Passengers

The CDC’s warning against travel to several countries in the Western Pacific region is highly alarming, and is telling people to be wary, as they may be missing out on protective vaccines to prevent diseases.

As you may already know, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a new health advisory to cruise ships in an effort to reduce the risk of preventable outbreaks of disease. The advisory, which is aimed at passengers but applies to other travelers on cruise ships as well, advises that “Unvaccinated passengers are at increased risk for… [unmet] medical needs such as respiratory illnesses, serious infections, and otitis media [ear infection].”

As of November 14th, the CDC issued a new warning for cruises due to the high risk of catching a disease from someone not vaccinated. The CDC’s advice for anyway taking a cruise is to get vaccinated before boarding.

As the cruise industry moves closer to resuming shipments from North American ports, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has changed the wording of its warning to the industry.

Instead of warning that cruise ships pose a very high risk to all travelers, the agency now says they pose a high risk to those who have not been vaccinated.

Latest CDC recommendations

The agency’s website states that the CDC still advises people who are not fully vaccinated not to travel on cruise ships worldwide, including river cruises, because of the high risk of COVID-19 infection on cruise ships. It is particularly important that people who have not been fully vaccinated and are more likely to become seriously ill avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises.

READ MORE: Viking ready to resume cruises after lifting restrictions

The federal agency adds: Cruise ship passengers who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are at increased risk because the virus is transmitted from person to person. Outbreaks of COVID-19 have been reported on cruise ships because of the congregate (group) environment in which COVID-19 spreads easily.

Here is a summary of the latest CDC recommendations to travelers on precautions to take before, during and after a cruise:

For boarding:

  • The CDC recommends that all cruise passengers be fully vaccinated, i.e., two weeks after receiving one dose in a one-dose series or two weeks after receiving a second dose in a two-dose series.
  • All passengers must be tested for COVID-19 1-3 days prior to departure, even if fully vaccinated. If they test positive, people should isolate themselves and cancel travel plans, according to the CDC.
  • It is recommended that all travelers purchase travel insurance, including a plan for obtaining medical care abroad if necessary. The CDC adds: Consider additional insurance that covers medical care and evacuation in the event of an emergency, especially if you are traveling to remote areas.

During operation:

  • In addition to standard precautions such as using hand sanitizer, frequent hand washing and avoiding contact with the eyes, nose and mouth, people who have not been fully vaccinated are advised to keep at least one meter away from people who are not part of their travel party, both indoors and outdoors.
  • All cruise passengers should wear masks in common enclosed spaces, even those who have been fully vaccinated, the CDC said. This document is required for all public transportation to, from, or within the United States. Masks are not mandatory in open areas, but are strongly recommended for passengers who are not fully vaccinated and are at increased risk of serious illness.
  • CDC notes that foreign health authorities can impose formal quarantine procedures if they identify a case of COVID-19 on a cruise ship and can refuse to allow the ship to dock or passengers to disembark.

On returning home

  • For those whose cruise ends in a foreign port, CDC recommends that all passengers going to the U.S., including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated individuals, have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of cure of COVID-19 within the last three months prior to boarding at least three days before travel.
  • People who have not been fully vaccinated should be tested for COVID-19 within three to five days of returning home, the CDC said. The agency also says travelers in this category should stay home and self-quarantine for seven days after a cruise, even if they test negative. Those who do not wish to be tested must maintain self quarantine for 10 days.

(Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises)

READ MORE: Royal Caribbean cancels flights after positive test of crew members.

In its latest update, the CDC indicates that it has published all the necessary requirements and guidance that cruise ship operators will need to continue their passenger operations under the original Article 30. Resume conditional travel order from October 2024.

However, this does not mean that nothing will change in the coming weeks, as the CDC indicates that it may adjust these requirements and recommendations based on public health considerations and other factors.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a new travel warning for cruise passengers who have not been vaccinated for measles.

The new warning cites recent events on ships where passengers developed measles after being exposed to an infected passenger. On January 11, CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden reported that there have been a total of 12 measles cases on cruise ships since January 1, 2014. The first outbreak occurred on the Celebrity Infinity cruise ship in March 2014, and then there was one outbreak on the Silversea Cruises Crystal Jewel cruise ship in November 2014.. Read more about carnival and covid and let us know what you think.

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