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US drops Covid cruise risk warning

The removal of the travel health notice heralds a return to pre-pandemic cruise operations

After more than two years of warning against the dangers of contracting Covid-19 on a cruise ship, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has dropped its risk assessment of cruising.

Put in place more than two years ago, the cruise health travel notice provided guidance to consumers on restrictions in cruise travel, grading systems and collaborative protocols for sailing safety.

Industry group Cruise Lines International Association said the move recognises the effective public health measures in place on cruise ships and stated that cruise passengers “are sailing today with health measures in place that are unmatched by virtually any other commercial setting”.

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This is a reassuring shift for cruise passengers and welcome news for cruise lines.

Tom McAlpin, chief executive of Virgin Voyages, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to see that the CDC recognises that it’s time to remove the Travel Health Notice website. While we feel this was a long time coming, we recognise this move as a demonstration of all of the hard work this industry has done to ensure that we’re offering the safest way to travel.”

Dave Daigle, spokesperson for the CDC health agency, told USA Today that the removal of the notice doesn’t mean that the agency considers the activity to be without any risk. He said that the CDC’s decision to remove the notice was based on the pandemic’s current state and a decrease in Covid-19 cases on cruise ships over the past several weeks.

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