While high, or “Level 3” recommendations call on passengers to make sure they are fully vaccinated before travel and instruct unvaccinated travelers to avoid nonessential travel, “Level 2” recommendations ask passengers to make sure they are fully vaccinated before travel and instruct unvaccinated travelers who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 to avoid nonessential travel to the destination.
The agency says that getting vaccinated is still the best way to protect from severe disease, slow the spread of the virus and reduce the number of new variants.
“If you are not up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, avoid cruise ship travel. If you have questions or concerns, talk to your doctor,” it said.
People booking cruise travel now should be advised the CDC’s notice level may change as the pandemic evolves and get a COVID-19 viral test no more than three days before departure.
Travelers are also advised to check their cruise ship’s color code and vaccination status classification prior to travel.
When on the cruise, the CDC still recommends people wear a well-fitting mask when indoors or in crowded outdoor settings.
“While CDC is exercising its enforcement discretion under CDC’s Mask Order to not require that persons wear a mask under certain circumstances on cruise ships participating in CDC’s COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships, individual cruise lines may require travelers (passengers and crew) to wear masks on board the ship,” it noted.
After the cruise, people should get tested three to five days later, regardless of their vaccination status – and isolate should they develop symptoms.
Those who are not up to date with vaccines should self-quarantine for a full five days after cruise travel.
In February, the CDC revised its travel health notice from “very high” to “high.”