The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Monday that it will no longer report Covid-19 cases on cruise ships.
“As of July 18, 2022, CDC’s COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships is no longer in effect and this page will no longer be updated. New guidance for cruise ships to mitigate and manage COVID-19 transmission will be available in the coming days,” the CDC announced on its website.
The announcement comes after a major Covid outbreak on the Coral Princess Cruise Ship where the passengers and staff were all vaccinated.
Cruise ships full of only the vaccinated are experiencing large outbreaks of Covid.
What does that tell you?
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) July 14, 2022
In a statement, the CDC said “cruise ships have access to guidance and tools to manage their own COVID-19 mitigation programs. Additionally, cruise travelers have access to recommendations that allow them to make informed decisions about cruise ship travel.”
The CDC will discontinue reporting Covid-19 levels for cruise ships starting Monday. This will terminate a program that allowed the public to track the spread of the virus at sea, according to the Washington Post.
“CDC has determined that the cruise industry has access to the necessary tools (e.g., cruise-specific recommendations and guidance, vaccinations, testing instruments, treatment modalities, and non-pharmaceutical interventions) to prevent and mitigate COVID-19 on board,” CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said in an email to WaPo.
The CDC continued, “the previous color-coding system under CDC’s COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships depended upon each cruise line having the same COVID-19 screening testing standards, which may now vary among cruise lines. Therefore, the cruise ship color status webpage has been retired. CDC will continue to provide testing recommendations for cruise ship operators to follow and cruise ships will continue to report COVID-19 cases to CDC.”
In 2020, the CDC assigned each cruise ship a color-coded status in order to facilitate the process of disembarking stranded crew members.
“The new system — which will use green, yellow, or red statuses — will dictate how and when the crew can disembark ships based on the status of coronavirus infections and how long the ship has been isolated,” according to Travel Leisure.
Following are some of the internet responses to the announcement:
The CDC stopped sharing covid data for cruise ships today. If you want to know if there’s an outbreak on a ship, the agency recommends you call the cruise line yourself. News from @amandajfinnegan and me https://t.co/n48RNHEmpc
— Gabe Hiatt (@Gabecito) July 18, 2022
Like the quiet shift in how community risk levels are calculated, this seems part of a developing strategy best described as “pretend it isn’t happening.”
— Tiffany Sanders (@TIFFLS) July 19, 2022
After the Coral Princess was docked for having a COVID outbreak on a 100% vaxxed ship, they deem that we shouldn’t be interested in seeing this anymore.
— andrew (@teggarta) July 19, 2022
Earlier this year, TGP also reported that the CDC lifted its COVID-19 risks warning for cruise travel after two years.
Thecategory, in late 2021 due to the omicron variant. By February, it had lowered its travel warning to Level 3, considered “high” risk, and then Level 2, “moderate” risk.
Passengers are not required to show proof of vaccination, depending on the cruise line. Non-U.S. citizens and non-U.S. immigrants traveling to the United States by air are required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the updated CDC guidelines.
It can be recalled that Florida Governor DeSantis sued the CDC last April 2021 for preventing the cruise business from starting up again. In June 2021, DeSantis had threatened to enforce Florida law on cruise companies which would fine companies $5,000 each time they asked for proof of vaccination. In the same month, two passengers aboard the first 100% vaccinated North American cruise tested positive for Covid-19.