Last Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) changed its guidance to reflect growing concern about the advisability of cruising.
Previously, the CDC's Travelers' Health page simply warned that unvaccinated passengers should not cruise.
Now, the page warns that the agency's advice was "updated to recommend travelers who are at increased risk for severe illness avoid cruise ship travel, regardless of vaccination status."
The CDC's examples of those at increased risk include passengers over the age of 65 and people with disabilities and chronic health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and lung and kidney disease.
Passengers who are obese and/or who smoke cigarettes also fall into the new risk categories, as do women who are pregnant or who recently were pregnant.
On Monday, the New York Times reported the death of one of the 27 Covid-infected people who were aboard the Carnival Vista when it sailed from Galveston, Texas, in late July.
The Vista is one of 21 ships that have reported coronavirus infections to the CDC over the the last few months.
Florida, the U.S. state that hosts the largest number of mainstream cruise ships, is an especially severe hot spot that is responsible for one out of every five new cases in the country.Pictured at top: cruise passengers during a routine lifeboat drill in pre-pandemic times