The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has removed all of its previous travel advisories for cruise ship travel. The landmark change, which will see the Travel Health Notice that has been applied to cruise travel for several months removed completely, is bound to be a boost to the beleaguered cruise industry, which has struggled throughout large parts of the pandemic and is now finally getting back on its feet.
Whilst the CDC may be removing its travel warnings for cruise travel this week, they have also made it clear that it doesn’t mean that traveling on a cruise ship is completely without risk, as several high-profile events on the seas over the past few months have pointed out. Here’s a closer look at what exactly is set to change, how it has been received by those in the cruise industry and what it means for cruise travelers.
Travel Health Notice Removed – Information For Travelers
Whilst the aviation industry may take most of the headlines, the cruise industry has been severely impacted by the spread of Covid-19. From ships being completely grounded to being allowed to operate again with a series of caveats, it’s been a long two years for the cruise industry, but it looks as though clear waters are ahead. Just two weeks ago, the CDC lowered the health risk advisory for travel on cruise ships – and now it has been removed completely.
Travel Health Notices are issued by the CDC to make sure that travelers are aware of the current health issues that could impact them during their travels. Just yesterday, the Travel Health Notice issued to cruise travel was finally removed, meaning that travelers are no longer warned against traveling on cruise ships. According to a spokesperson, the decision to remove the warning was taken due to the fall in Covid-19 cases on cruise ships and the general status of the pandemic at present.
That does not mean that travel on a cruise ship is now without risk, but the CDC has elected to allow travelers to perform their own risk assessments before deciding whether or not to board a ship – as they do with any other type of transportation. The CDC still advises travelers to ensure that they are up to date with their vaccinations before they decide to travel on a cruise ship, which still remains a requirement to board in the US.
Speaking about the decision to remove the warning, Cruise Lines International Association, the industry’s largest trade organization, said:
“Today’s decision by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to altogether remove the Travel Health Notice for cruising recognizes the effective public health measures in place on cruise ships and begins to level the playing field, between cruise and similarly situated venues on land, for the first time since March 2020.”
With fewer warnings and worries now attached to taking trips on a cruise ship, passenger numbers on board cruises could rise once more, particularly as more and more cruises continue to restart their operations and get back on the water once more. The decision also coincides with several Caribbean destinations – which are popular with cruise itineraries – easing their Covid-19 restrictions, making the thought of taking a cruise more appealing to the masses.
With several positive stories already emerging, 2022 looks set to become a great year for the cruise industry. New ports are planned both at home and abroad, whilst new state of the art ships are making their debuts. Coupled with the travel warning now being removed, it looks like the cruise industry has the pandemic in its wake and is sailing on to new horizons.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories