Travelers advised to postpone cruise trip amid coronavirus — CDC
Bad news for travelers booked on a cruise in the foreseeable future: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States is advising that travelers, particularly those who suffer from underlying health issues, defer their sea voyage.
Though travel via ships, airplanes and trains isn’t normally within the purview of the CDC, the agency said they’re taking the unusual step of issuing a travel advisory against cruise travel due to the increased risk of person-to-person spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
Given that cruise ships are closed, contained quarters that place people in close contact with fellow passengers, the risk of catching the virus is particularly high.
The most vulnerable passengers are those with underlying health conditions such as heart disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes and other conditions that cause suppression of the immune system, particularly among older adults.
“To best protect these vulnerable individuals, we recommend that such individuals avoid situations that increase their risk of acquiring infections. This entails avoiding crowded places, avoiding non-essential travel such as long plane trips, and especially avoiding embarking on cruise ships,” reads a statement on the CDC website.
“This is a dynamic situation and those traveling by ship may be impacted by travel restrictions affecting their itineraries or ability to disembark or may be subject to quarantine procedures implemented by the local authorities,” it added. “U.S. citizens should evaluate the risks associated with choosing to remain in an area that may be subject to quarantine and take the appropriate proactive measures.”
It is the same message that was issued to Canadians on Monday. Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, also warned Canadians in a press conference to avoid all cruise ship travel.
Travelers are advised to contact their cruise line companies for deferring their travel plans. Many cruise companies including Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises have already modified their policies in response to COVID-19. JB
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