The CDC is advising Americans to avoid taking a cruise vacation – even if they’re vaccinated and have received a booster shot.
As COVID cases break records across the nation due to the omicron variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has designated cruising a “high risk” travel activity, with Reuters reporting the agency is investigating COVID-19 cases on more than 90 ships.
“The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads easily between people on close quarters onboard ships, and the chance of getting COVID-19 on cruise ships is very high, even if you are fully vaccinated and have received a COVID-19 booster dose,” an advisory from the CDC read.
According to USA Today, cruise ships operating in US waters between December 15 and December 29 reported 5,013 COVID-19 cases to the CDC compared to just 162 COVID cases between November 30 and December 14.
CDC spokesperson Dave Daigle told USA Today that it is “not possible” for cruising to be a zero-risk activity during the pandemic.
“The CDC is working with cruise ships to keep passengers and crew safe through COVID-19 mitigation measures,” Daigle said in a statement reported by USA Today. “The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial and high community transmission, and take a test before you gather.”