It’s common for the CDC to post travel health notices for countries and other international destinations, but not conveyances, such as ships, airplanes, or trains. Because of the unusual nature of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the US government is advising US travelers, particularly those with underlying health issues, to defer cruise ship travel.
Recent reports of COVID-19 on the Diamond Princess and Grand Princess cruise ships highlight the risk of infection to cruise ship passengers and crew. Like many other viruses, COVID-19 appears to spread more easily between people in close quarters aboard ships.
Person-to-person spread of COVID-19 is occurring and countries are reporting both travel-related cases and community spread of the disease. As the outbreak of COVID-19 continues, there remains a risk of infected travelers and crew boarding cruise ships.
It has become clear that people with underlying conditions such as heart disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes, and other conditions that cause suppression of immune system particularly among the older adults, are at a high risk of serious disease if infected with the novel coronavirus.
Passengers who plan to travel by cruise ship should contact their cruise line companies directly for further information on the current rules and restrictions and continue to monitor the travel.state.gov website for updated information.
The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the travel industry and especially the cruise industry particularly hard. According to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), more than 154,000 people are employed in some capacity related to cruise travel, and the industry earns over $7 billion in Florida. Direct spending in the state adds up to $8.5 billion. Taken together that comprises a third of the total economic engine cruise travel contributed to the U.S. economy in 2018.
Vice President Pence and members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force met with heads of the cruise line industry to devise better ways for cruise lines to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. Cruise line heads agreed to enhance entry and exit screenings and establish shipboard testing for the virus, along with new quarantine standards established by the CDC.
Now is a great time to find some incredible bargains on your next cruise.