Lifting two years of warnings about the dangers of cruising in the age of Covid-19, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has dropped its risk advisory for cruise ships.
As long as you're up-to-date with your shots, the CDC no longer sees a reason to warn you not to take a cruise vacation. The federal agency does, however, suggest that immunocompromised passengers clear their plans with their physicians.
"While cruising will always pose some risk of Covid-19 transmission, travelers will make their own risk assessment when choosing to travel on a cruise ship, much like they do in all other travel settings," the agency said in a statement to NPR.
The CDC is still recommending that travelers consult its somewhat baffling color-coded risk assessment system, which rates individual ships by how many cases of Covid-19 have been detected and the saturation level of vaccination among passengers.
The national public health agency does not, however, go as far as to say that passengers should automatically avoid ships with higher reported cases; according to the CDC, the color assessment is designed to give consumers more information for an informed choice about their own health risks.
As expected, the Cruise Lines International Association, which has been critical of the CDC's past assessments, heralded the change, saying in a statement that the decision "begins to level the playing field between cruise and similarly situated venues on land for the first time since March 2020."