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CDC still urges against cruising, advises testing and more for those who go anyway, even vaccinated people

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends avoiding all cruise travel, including river cruises, worldwide and issued new guidance for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people who ignore that advice and go anyway.

The CDC's health notice for cruise travel remains at Level 4: very high.

The agency said the chance of getting COVID-19 on cruise ships is 'high since the virus appears to spread more easily between people in close quarters aboard ships.' CDC added it is especially important for people with an increased risk of severe illness to avoid cruising.

For those who do cruise, testing before and after, even if vaccinated

People who decide to cruise should get tested one to three days before travel and after their trip, even if they are fully vaccinated.

In addition to testing, passengers who are unvaccinated should self-quarantine for seven days after cruise travel, even if they test negative. If they do not get tested, they should self-quarantine for 10 days. 

Passengers who are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine do not need to self-quarantine after cruise travel.

The new full guidance for vaccinated and unvaccinated people, and for those who've recently recovered from COVID-19, is here.

Vaccinated travelers

Fully vaccinated travelers should get tested three to five days after their trip. If the test is positive, they should isolate. They should also self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after travel, isolate and get tested if they develop symptoms.

They do not need to stay home and self-quarantine after cruise travel.

Unvaccinated travelers

People who are not fully vaccinated should get tested three to five days after their trip and isolate if the test is positive. They, too, should self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after travel, isolate and get tested if they develop symptoms.

Moreover, people not fully vaccinated should stay home and self-quarantine for seven days after cruising, even if they test negative.

If they don't get tested, they should stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days.

In any case, CDC said travelers who haven't been fully vaccinated should avoid being around people at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether the traveler gets tested or not.

Recently recovered from COVID-19

If travelers tested positive for COVID-19 in the past three months and met criteria to end isolation, they do not need to get tested before or after cruise travel unless they are symptomatic.

CDC said people can continue to test positive for up to three months after they had COVID-19 and not be infectious to others.

These travelers also do not need to self-quarantine after cruising.


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