Amid reports of widespread outbreaks in cruises earlier this year, the federal agency urges all not to take cruises worldwide. It also issued alerts for international air travel.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has upgraded the cruise ship travel risk to a level 4, the agency’s highest risk level possible for contracting COVID-19, citing that cruise passengers are at increased risk of person-to-person spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19, and that outbreaks of COVID-19 have been reported on cruise ships.
Sounding the Alarm
For this reason, the CDC are sounding the alarm worldwide for would-be cruise travelers and strongly urging all people to avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises. The agency also points out that it is especially important that people with an increased risk of severe illness avoid travel on cruise ships, again.
Those who decide to travel despite the CDC’s level 4 warning are urged to take the necessary precautions. On its website, the CDC issued the following alerts:
- Do not board a cruise if you are sick, if you know you have COVID-19, or if you were exposed to a person with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
- Discuss cruise ship travel with your healthcare provider. Older adults and people of any age with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk of severe illness if infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who is not traveling with you. It’s important to do this everywhere—both indoors and outdoors.
- Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when you are in shared spaces, including when using public transportation.
- Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
- Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Do not travel if you are sick.
- If you get sick with symptoms of COVID-19, stay in your cabin and notify the onboard medical center immediately.
Protect Those Around You
The CDC also urges those who decide to travel to protect others for 14 days after their return from a cruise ship or river cruise voyage.
- Get tested 3-5 days after the trip AND stay home for 7 days after travel.
- Even if you test negative, it is necessary that you stay home for the full 7 days.
- If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
- If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home for 14 days after travel.
- Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.
- Always follow state and local recommendations or requirements related to travel.
Read the CDC’s full list of recommendations HERE.
Advise for Air Travel
A similar update was issued for international air travel, urging Americans who are choosing to fly out of the country to get tested 1-3 days before their flight, again 3-5 days after travel, and stay home for 7 days after travel. The CDC strongly urges all that even those who test negative upon return should stay home for seven days; 14 for those who do not get tested. People should also delay their travel if they are waiting for test results.
Read the CDC’s full list of recommendations for international air travel HERE.