Travelers board cruises in Florida despite case surges

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MIAMI (NewsNation Now) — Travelers are heading out on cruises from Florida ports, even as omicron cases surge nationwide and firm new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise people to “avoid cruise travel, regardless of vaccination status.”

Cruise ship travel has been listed at the highest COVID threat level by federal health officials who note that “even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants.” However, that didn’t stop travelers from all over the country from flocking to the Port of Miami on Thursday, ready to head out into the ocean.

Cruisegoer Keisha Ricks told NewsNation Reporter Brian Entin that she hadn’t heard of the CDC’s latest advisory and was unperturbed by it.

“You got to get back to living. Got to get back to it. You can’t sit around stuck in the house forever,” she said.

While some cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean and Norweigan are halting trips due to recent outbreaks, others have questioned the CDC guidance, saying the number of COVID-positive people on ships is a very small percentage of the total passenger count.

More CDC guidance for travelers:
  • Avoid cruise travel, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants.
  • The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads easily between people in close quarters on board 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 vaccine booster dose.
  • Outbreaks of COVID-19 have been reported on cruise ships.
  • If you travel on a cruise ship, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel and get a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose if you are eligible.
  • People who go on a cruise should get tested 1–3 days before their trip and 3–5 days after their trip, regardless of vaccination status or symptoms.
  • Along with testing, passengers who are not fully vaccinated should self-quarantine for a full 5 days after cruise travel.
  • People on cruise ships should wear a mask to keep their nose and mouth covered when in shared spaces.

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