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CDC Warns Against Cruises For Anyone Regardless of Vaccination Status

CDC Warns Against Cruises For Anyone Regardless of Vaccination Status

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.

MIAMI, FLORIDA – MARCH 26: The Costa Favolosa cruise ship (right) and MSC Divina (left) are seen off the coast on March 26, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida. According to reports, two Costa ships, the Favolosa and the Magica, were anchored off the coast of Miami with approximately 30 people experiencing flu-like symptoms of COVID-19. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

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.

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.

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.

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