At first, it was only a few ships. Then, at least 86 cruise liners were being monitored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for COVID19 outbreaks. But now the nation’s top health experts are warning that everyone should stay on dry land and avoid what Twitter users cheekily dubbed “floating Petri dishes full of COVID” regardless of their vaccination status.
The highly transmissible Omicron variant, which can cause breakthrough cases even in people who have been both vaccinated and boosted, is responsible for ruining everyone’s holiday plans, but the cruise industry has been hit the hardest by the global coronavirus pandemic now entering its second year. Omicron has sent cases skyrocketing to unprecedented levels across the U.S., including Florida, the hub of the nation’s cruise industry. The state set another record this week for new daily cases, with more than 58,000 recorded Wednesday.
The CDC said it now 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 between people in close quarters on board ships, and the chance of getting COVID-19 on cruise ships is very high,” even if people are fully vaccinated and have received a booster, the CDC said.
What IDIOT thinks it's a good idea to take a cruise in a floating petri dish at this point?
Same for air travel.
If you don't HAVE to go…stay the hell home!
— MarTigress 😊🍀 (@TheMartiScott) December 28, 2021
The CDC also recommended that passengers get tested and quarantine for five days after docking, regardless of their vaccination status and even if they have no symptoms.
Remember when Florida sued the CDC and won to get cruise ships going.
Then Florida banned vax passes for ships and the cruise lines sued and did it anyhow.
Then cruises starting getting outbreaks of cases on fully vaccinated ships.
Now CDC says vaccinated cruises aren’t safe.
— Kyle Lamb (@kylamb8) December 30, 2021
The Cruise Lines International Association said it was disappointed with the new recommendations, saying the industry was singled out despite the fact they follow strict health protocols compared to other travel sectors. U.S. cruise lines have not announced any plans to halt trips, though vessels have been denied entry at some foreign ports.
CDC increased the Cruise Travel Health Notice to a Level 4, recommending people avoid cruise travel regardless of vaccination status, in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases occurring on cruise ships in the US and around the world.
Learn more: https://t.co/twgHr3xXex
— CDC (@CDCgov) December 30, 2021