WASHINGTON, Dec. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The decision by the CDC to raise the travel level for cruise is particularly perplexing considering that cases identified on cruise ships consistently make up a very slim minority of the total population onboard—far fewer than on land—and the majority of those cases are asymptomatic or mild in nature, posing little to no burden on medical resources onboard or onshore. No setting can be immune from this virus—however, it is also the case that cruise provides one of the highest levels of demonstrated mitigation against the virus. Cruise ships offer a highly controlled environment with science-backed measures, known testing and vaccination levels far above other venues or modes of transportation and travel, and significantly lower incidence rates than land.
While we are disappointed and disagree with the decision to single out the cruise industry—an industry that continues to go above and beyond compared to other sectors—CLIA and our ocean-going cruise line members remain committed to working collaboratively with the CDC in the interest of public health and safety.
- Cruise industry protocols are unique in their approach to effectively monitor, detect, and respond to potential cases of COVID-19.
- Protocols encompass the entirety of the cruise experience, incorporating testing, vaccination, screening, sanitation, mask-wearing and other science-backed measures.
- Many of our members have announced additional measures in response to the Omicron variant, including strengthening testing, masking and other requirements, as well as encouraging booster vaccine doses for those eligible.
- Over 100 cruise ships have returned to U.S. waters, carrying nearly more than one million people from a U.S. port since late June 2021.
- The cruise industry is the only industry in the U.S. travel and tourism sector that is requiring both vaccinations and testing for crew and guests.
- Vaccination rates onboard a cruise ship are upwards of 95 percent—significantly higher than the overall U.S. population which is hovering at 62 percent.
- In the U.S. alone, the cruise industry administers nearly 10 million tests per week—21x the rate of testing in the United States.
- The latest data show that, even with higher rates of testing, the cruise industry continues to achieve significantly lower rates of occurrence of COVID-19—33 percent lower than onshore.
- According to the CDC’s color-coding system, a cruise ship may be determined to be “yellow” – and, therefore, subject to CDC observation – if a threshold of 0.10 percent or more passengers (i.e., 7 out of 6,500) have tested positive in the last seven days, or if even just one crewmember tests positive.
About the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)
CLIA is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association, providing a unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community. On behalf of its members, affiliates, and partners, the organization supports policies and practices that foster a secure, healthy, and sustainable cruise ship environment, promoting positive travel experiences for the more than 30 million passengers who have cruised annually. The CLIA community includes the world’s most prestigious ocean, river, and specialty cruise lines; a highly trained and certified travel agent community; and widespread industry stakeholders, including ports & destinations, ship development, suppliers, and business services. CLIA represents 95% of the world’s ocean-going cruise capacity, as well as 54,000 travel agents, and 15,000 of the largest travel agencies in the world. The organization’s global headquarters are in Washington, DC, with regional offices located in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australasia. For more information, please visit cruising.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube with our handle @CLIAGlobal—or on LinkedIn.
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SOURCE Cruise Lines International Association