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CDC & State Dept Advise Against Cruise Travel

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The American State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] are both advising American citizens against cruise travel, with the CDC noting that due to 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.”

The U.S. State Department

The U.S. State Department said, “U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship. CDC notes increased risk of infection of COVID-19 in a cruise ship environment. In order to curb the spread of COVID-19, many countries have implemented strict screening procedures that have denied port entry rights to ships and prevented passengers from disembarking.

“In some cases, local authorities have permitted disembarkation but subjected passengers to local quarantine procedures. While the U.S. government has evacuated some cruise ship passengers in recent weeks, repatriation flights should not be relied upon as an option for U.S. citizens under the potential risk of quarantine by local authorities.

“This is a fluid situation. CDC notes that older adults and travelers with underlying health issues should avoid situations that put them at increased risk for more severe disease. This entails avoiding crowded places, avoiding non-essential travel such as long plane trips, and especially avoiding embarking on cruise ships.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]

The CDC said, “CDC typically posts travel health notices for countries and other international destinations, 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 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.

“To best protect these vulnerable individuals, we recommend that such individuals avoid situations that increase their risk of acquiring infections. This entails avoiding crowded places, avoiding non-essential travel such as long plane trips, and especially avoiding embarking on cruise ships.”

Update | Canadians Also Advised To Avoid Cruises

Canada’s health agency said, “The Public Health Agency of Canada [PHAC) is recommending that Canadians avoid all cruise ship travel due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

“Cruise passengers include travellers from around the world who may be arriving from areas with known or unknown spread of COVID-19. The virus can spread quickly on board cruises due to the close contact between passengers. Older people and people with a weakened immune system or underlying medical condition are at a higher risk of developing severe disease.”

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