Amidst the omicron variant scare of COVID, the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has warned people against travelling on cruises irrespective of their vaccination status. Since the omicron variant tends to spread faster in close quarters, the cruise becomes one of the most vulnerable places to spread. The CDC has also said that nearly 90 cruise ships are under investigation or observation due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases. The agency did not disclose about the total number of infections.
The CDC added that even if people are fully vaccinated , the virus in close quarters spreads faster and puts the passengers at risk of getting infected. A statement from the Cruise Lines International Association said that the cruise sector follows a stricter protocol when compared to other travel sectors. It added that the cases that are identified on the cruise ships make up to a minority of the total population on board. The statement also said that majority of the cases are asymptomatic or mild that pose little to no burden on the medical resources on board or on shore. The lockdown in March 2020 put a hold on all the cruises and that stretched to 15 months. In June, it allowed all the cruises to resume sailing but under strict guidelines and measures.
In August 2021, the Delta variant had surged and it warned people with risk of severe illness despite being vaccinated, not to go on cruises. On Thursday, the CDC had recommended that the passengers should get tested and quarantine for five days after docking even if they do not have any symptoms.
Now the omicron variant, which is highly infectious, has set the cases skyrocketing across the United States. However, for now the U.S. cruise lines have not announced any plans to halt the trips but it has been denied entry at some of the foreign ports.
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