The CDC Just Lifted Its Advisory for Cruise Travel

The agency has dropped cruising from its list of travel health notices altogether.
Editor's Note: We know COVID-19 is continuing to impact your travel plans. Should you travel now, be sure to familiarize yourself with the CDC's latest guidance on domestic and international travel as well as local requirements, protocols, and restrictions for both your destination upon your arrival and your home city upon your return. Be safe out there.

Early this year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advised Americans against cruise travel altogether before later downgrading the recommendation. Now, the agency is lifting its official warning completely, claiming "travelers will make their own risk assessment when choosing to travel on a cruise ship, much like they do in all other travel situations." 

This week, the agency nixed cruise travel from its list of travel health notices, CNN reports, while still asking travelers to stay up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccinations, including booster shots. 

Meanwhile, the Cruise Lines International Association is praising the CDC's latest update.

"[The move] recognizes the effective public health measures in place on cruise ships and begins to level the playing field, between cruise and similarly situated venues on land, for the first time since March 2020," the CLIA said, per CNN, adding that cruise ships "are sailing today with health measures in place that are unmatched by virtually any other commercial setting."

Just mere months ago, on December 30, to be exact, the CDC moved cruise travel to its highest-risk Level 4 category in response to the rapidly spreading Omicron variant. The agency asked US citizens to avoid the mode of travel. However, in February, the agency lowered the risk factor to Level 3 (high risk) and then Level 2 (moderate risk) before dropping it all together on Wednesday.

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Megan Schaltegger is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist.