CDC Recommends Travelers with 'Increased Risk' Avoid Cruises Regardless of Vaccination Status
The Centers for Disease Control has updated its guidance for cruise ship travelers as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on.
In new guidance released Friday, the CDC advises people "who are at increased risk for severe illness" to avoid all cruise ship travel, whether they are vaccinated or not.
Those in this category include people over 65 and people with cancer, chronic conditions, heart and lung disease, a weakened immune system and other illnesses.
Because of the close quarters on ships, the risk of COVID-19 spread is high.
Anyone planning to travel aboard a cruise should get tested for the virus one to three days before the trip and again three to five days after arriving home, the CDC recommends.
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday.
And while the CDC encourages passengers who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 to avoid cruise travel, if they do decide to go, the organization urges travelers to should self-quarantine for a week after arriving home, even if they test negative.
If the passenger chooses not to get tested, they should quarantine or 10 days after cruise travel, the CDC says.
The CDC also advises that passengers wear a face mask in shared spaces aboard the ship in addition to practicing social distancing, washing hands often and avoiding contact with anyone who is sick.
After banning cruise travel last year, the CDC gave cruise lines the green light to resume sailing in late 2020 if safety protocols were in place. After several cruise lines held mock sails to test their COVID-19 protocols, some began sailing with guests once again this summer.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.