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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) They warned this Thursday to people to avoid traveling on cruise ships regardless of their vaccination status, following the recent increase in positive Covid-19 cases on board ships, at a time when the highly contagious Omicron variant is spreading across the globe.
CDC increased their travel warning for cruise ships to the highest level, as the agency is investigating dozens of ships that have presented coronavirus outbreaks.
Cruise ships operating in U.S. waters reported to the CDC about 5,000 cases of Covid-19 between December 15 and 29, which represents a large increase compared to the first two weeks of the month, in which 162 cases were registered.
“It is especially important that travelers who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 avoid traveling on cruise ships, including riverine, around the world, regardless of their vaccination status,” the agency said.
The CDC recommendations represent a further blow to a cruise travel industry which was devastated during 2020 after the start of the pandemic.
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The CDC warned that Covid is easily transmitted between people in confined spaces on ships and the chance of contracting the virus on a cruise ship is very high even for people who are vaccinated and have received a booster dose.
In addition, the CDC advised people to decide to go on a cruise get vaccinated before their trip and receive a booster dose if they are fit for it, in addition to wearing masks in shared spaces, and passengers who are not fully vaccinated must be under care for five days after the trip.
The CDC also recommended that people going on a cruise should be tested one to three days before departure, and three to five days after their trip, regardless of vaccination status or symptoms.
Following the news, Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival shares fell more than 2% while Royal Caribbean fell 1.93%.
Covid cases in the US have skyrocketed to pandemic level. As of Wednesday, the United States had recorded a seven-day average of more than 300,000 new Covid cases, which represents an increase of 82% compared to last week, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
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