The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lowered its COVID-19 cruise ship warning from “high” to “moderate” on Monday as the number of coronavirus cases in the United States drops.
However, the agency still recommends that people boarding a cruise ship be “up-to-date” with COVID-19 vaccines, including booster shots for the eligible and additional doses for people who are immunocompromised.
“Getting vaccinated is still the best way to protect yourself from serious illness, slow down the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the number of new variants,” the agency says. wrote in a statement.
“If you are not up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and have an increased risk of serious illness from COVID-19, avoid cruise ship travel,” the agency added.
In addition, the CDC recommended that people who go on cruises be tested for the virus before and after their voyage and wear a mask while on the ship. However, it does not require travelers to wear face clothing.
The change in the warning for cruises comes after the agency in February lowered its travel advice for cruise ships from “very high” to “high”. Since December 30, the CDC had urged travelers to avoid taking cruises, regardless of their vaccination status.
The number of COVID-19 cases has been steadily declining since January, when daily infections increased due to the omicron variant, according to data collected by the CDC. That trend has prompted all 50 states to announce plans to remove their indoor mesh mandates.
Cruise ships became a central focus during the pandemic, with some ships reporting major eruptions while at sea.