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The CDC drops its COVID-19 health warning for cruise ship travelers

Passengers disembark from the Carnival Sunshine cruise ship Monday, March 16, 2020, in Charleston, S.C. Federal officials are dropping a health warning that they have attached to sailing on cruise ships since the start of the pandemic. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday, March 30, 2022 that they will leave it up to vacationers to decide whether they feel safe getting on a ship.
Mic Smith
/
AP
Passengers disembark from the Carnival Sunshine cruise ship Monday, March 16, 2020, in Charleston, S.C. Federal officials are dropping a health warning that they have attached to sailing on cruise ships since the start of the pandemic. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday, March 30, 2022 that they will leave it up to vacationers to decide whether they feel safe getting on a ship.

Federal officials are dropping a health warning that they have attached to sailing on cruise ships since the start of the pandemic.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that they will leave it up to vacationers to decide whether they feel safe getting on a ship.

The cruise-line industry is happy about the move. A trade group for cruise lines says it shows that the steps they are taking — like requiring crew members and most passengers to be vaccinated — are effective.

The Cruise Lines International Association says the CDC decision levels the playing field and recognizes the industry's "effective public health measures" against the virus.

Cruise-line companies have argued that it's unfair to impose tougher COVID-19 restrictions on their industry than on land-based businesses.

A statement from the CDC says that while cruises will "always pose a risk" for COVID-19 transmission, travelers should make their own assessment.

It also recommends that they get fully vaccinated and look up their ship's color code and vaccine status at CDC.gov.

WMFE reporter Joe Byrnes contributed to this report.

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