CDC ends Covid warnings for cruising: Travel Weekly

The CDC on Wednesday removed its Travel Health Notice website that issued warning levels for the potential of contracting Covid-19 on cruise ships. 

The decision to pull down the notice was rooted in the current state of the pandemic and a drop in Covid-19 cases on cruise ships in recent weeks, said CDC spokeswoman Jasmine Reed. 

“Travelers will make their own risk assessment when choosing to travel on a cruise ship, much like they do in all other travel settings,” she said.

The travel health notice had been a major source of contention for cruise lines and travel advisors, which had argued no other travel sector was under as much scrutiny or practiced as many health safety measures as cruise ships.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to see that the CDC recognizes that it’s time to remove the Travel Health Notice website,” said Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages, which launched its first two ships during the pandemic.

“While we feel this was a long time coming, we recognize this move as a demonstration of all of the hard work this industry has done to ensure that we’re offering the safest way to travel. It’s refreshing to see them meet us where we’re at, and clearly where our consumers are at considering the major uptick in demand we’ve seen,” he said. 

CLIA applauded the CDC’s removal of the Travel Health Notice, saying health measures in place on cruise ships are “unmatched by virtually any other commercial setting.” 

As the omicron variant took hold in the U.S. in December, the Travel Health Notice spiked to a Level 4 warning level, instructing people not to cruise even if they were vaccinated, which infuriated the cruise industry. When cases dropped, the CDC lowered the threat level and eased cruising restrictions.

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