Agency raises alert to Level 4, its highest level of warning
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned Americans making vacation plans in the next few months to "avoid cruise travel, regardless of vaccination status."
The federal vanguard of the nation's health raised its alert for cruise travel to its highest level after many reports of COVID-19 outbreaks aboard cruise ships. Omicron is the fastest spreading of the variants currently in circulation.
As of last Wednesday before the CDC warning, 88 ocean liners were under investigation. Some of those shops have been denied entry at international ports.
"Even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants" at this time, CDC explained. "The virus that causes COVID-19 spreds easily between people in close quarters on board shops, and the chance of getting COVID-19 on cruise ships is very high, even if you are fully vaccinated and have received a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose."
David M. of Lincolnwood, Ill. said he's paid for a trip through the Caribbean this February and isn't deterred.
"If they're really serious about this, they'd just ban the cruises from going and they didn't do that," he told GoPride.com. "I'll be going with my friends and we're going to be safe and have fun."
The CDC knows there will be many more like David who won't heed the warning and go anyway.
What you should do if you go on a cruise
People who insist on going on their cruises anyway are being told by the CDC to get their booster shot if they have not.
"People who go on a cruise should get tested 1-3 days before their trip and 3-5 days after their trip, regardless of vaccination status or symptoms," the federal agency said.
"Passengers who are not fully vaccinated should self-quarantine for a full 5 days after cruise travel."
The CDC also wants passengers to wear their mask at all times, maing sure their nose and mouth are covered in common areas.