With the widespread availability of vaccines and booster doses, planning a holiday on a cruise ship is on the cards for many. Since the pandemic had presented a considerable pause in cruise travel, people are now more excited than ever to sail after months.
However, the rising concern regarding the Omicron variant has somewhat taken the wind off the sails of potential passengers. Hence, search topics like ‘PCR test for travel near me‘ are trending on the internet.
To deal with this alarming rise in COVID cases of the Omicron variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a set of rules for cruise ship travelers to ensure their safety. CDC has notified that even though the chance of contracting the COVID-19 virus on a cruise ship is alarming, following some basic safety measures while traveling can reduce the risks.
Here we have listed out some of the precautions you can take before, during, and post traveling on a cruise ship.
The CDC guidelines for traveling on a cruise ship
On December 30, 2021, CDC issued some guidelines for travelers regarding cruise travel. Be it inter-state travel or an international trip, the issued guidelines will reduce the threat that might follow travelers during this ongoing deadly pandemic. Here we have listed out some information you need to take care of before you make your travel plans.
- Be up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccines including the booster doses: Without proper vaccination, one will not be allowed to board the cruise ship. If you are looking for traveling make sure that not only the adults but also the children have all the vaccines taken. CDC recommends at least one updated (bivalent) booster dose.
- Take vaccines that are approved and authorized in the United States: To ensure safe travels, vaccinations should be taken from approved and authorized brands by the US Government. Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen are the recommended brands by CDC.
- Check with your cruise line about their COVID-19 protocols: Before traveling on the cruise ship, you must check out the safety measures that are recommended by the cruise line. Keep in mind that their safety measures must align with the CDC recommendations as well.
- Avoid traveling if you are immunocompromised: People who run the risk of contracting severe diseases like the elderly or people who have just undergone chemotherapy or radiation therapy and other underlying medical issues like diabetes, lung and heart diseases should avoid cruise travel.
What if the cruise ship does not have any specified testing method?
Every cruise line more or less has its own specified rapid testing methods to abide by the rules recommended by CDC. However, in certain cases, there are no such rules prescribed by the cruise ship. In that case, the choice lies with you.
You need to be updated with your vaccinations and booster doses before you start your travel. It is a good precautionary measure even if you are not asked by the cruise company. This will ensure your safety as well as the safety of the people traveling alongside you.
You should get tested as close to the time of the cruise as possible. CDC recommends that the time should not be more than 3 days before travel. Keep the results of your rapid testing with you at all times while traveling.
Precautions to follow while you are on the cruise ship
- CDC recommends you wear masks at all times covering your nose and mouth when you are in a shared space.
- You should also look after the fact that the crew on the ship are also maintaining social distancing protocols in shared spaces. Follow every ship-specific mask protocol to ensure utmost safety.
- You should wash your hands frequently with soap. Make it a healthy practice to keep a hand sanitizer with you at all times to ensure safety from any potentially contaminated shared space.
- Consider confining yourself inside at all costs to avoid any spread of the virus. Dine inside the cruise ship during the popular hours to ensure safety. If your cruise ship is providing room service, try to take that advantage.
- Additionally, if you start developing symptoms during the travel, quarantine yourself in your room to stop the spread and have minimal contact with people. This way you are not only ensuring your but others’ safety as well.
Things to do after the cruise travel
Safety protocols do not end with your journey. Here we have listed out some precautions you can take to avoid the risks of the virus.
- CDC recommends monitoring yourself and your travel partner closely for at least 3 to 5 days after the trip and getting a viral test after the said period or if symptoms arise.
- If you were COVID-positive within the last 90 days, check out CDC’s recommendation for specific tests.
- If you were in close quarters with a COVID-positive person, follow the additional guidelines recommended by CDC and go into quarantine.
- Isolate yourself immediately if you develop known symptoms or if you test positive. Contact your state or local healthcare department and tell them about your recent travel.
- Consider taking additional precautions if you are meeting someone vulnerable or who might contract diseases easily or is immunocompromised, to ensure their safety.
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