Cruise Ship Traveling


Cruise Ship

Cruise ship operators who choose to join into CDC’s Covid-19 Program for cruise ships may advocate that their passengers and crew, who are up to date with their Covid-19 vaccines, may gather or conduct activities. Some of the activities may include eating at one of the meal spots and one of the bars without wearing a mask. Cruise ships are expected to line up their health and safety protocols with any CDC findings and observations. During this, the CDC might recommend some other recommendations to the cruise ship operator that they should consider in order to keep everyone safe and healthy. Cruise ships who take part voluntarily in the program may be asked to make their properties and records obtainable for inspection by the CDC. Included in these records might be vessels, facilities, manifests, a list of passengers, and employee and passenger health records. For these inspections, they may or may not be conducted by the CDC with or without a heads up to the cruise ship operator. This guidance will be reevaluated no later than March 18th, 2022. Cruise ships who are in the program must inform passengers of any mandatory public health measures before boarding, place signs in high-traffic areas that push for good hand hygiene, and ensure handwashing stations are well supplied with soap and a way to dry hands.

            There is a color-coded system for cruise ships that give travelers information they can use to make decisions before they make their travel decisions. The color status is based on the number of Covid-19 cases reported for each ship that is in the program, whether an investigation is needed, additional public health measures a ship is taking, and whether a ship has opted out of the program. Green means no reported cases of COVID-19 or COVID-19-like illness. Yellow means reported cases of COVID are below the threshold for CDC investigation. Orange means reported cases of COVID-19 have met the threshold for CDC investigation. Red means reported cases of COVID-19 are at or above the threshold for CDC investigation along with additional public health measures being in place. Gray means that those specific cruise line operators opted out of the CDC’s COVID-19 program for cruise ships. If a cruise ship is in the red it may require the ship to do one or more of these things: test all passengers mid-voyage regardless of vaccination status, increase routine screening testing of the crew, require mask use by all passengers and crew indoors and crowded outdoor areas, offer a full refund for the cruise to any passenger who decides not to sail on the voyage or send written notification to passengers informing them of the COVID-19 conditions and protocols being taken to reduce spreading. The color system is only relevant to commercial, non-cargo, passenger-carrying ships to carry 250 or more passengers and crew with an itinerary that allows overnight stay.

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