The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lowered its warning level to just a level 2 risk.
After reaching a level 4 warning earlier this year, the CDC has lowered its warning level now two times.
The level 2 warning means it there is a "moderate" risk of Covid-19, which is based on statistics that show the agency has seen 50 to 99 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.
This means essentially that there has been a marked decrease in Covid-19 cases on cruise ships operating in the United States.
At a level 2 warning, the CDC simply advises everyone to make sure you are up to date with Covid-19 vaccines. Those that are not and are at increased risk for severe illness from Covid, should avoid cruise ship travel.
The four warning levels are as follows:
- Level 4: Very high level of COVID-19
- Level 3: High level of COVID-19
- Level 2: Moderate level of COVID-19
- Level 1: Low level of COVID-19
Prior to this change, cruise ships were at level 3. The CDC lowered the warning from level 4 to level 3 on February 15, 2022.
In order for cruise ships to get to level 1, they must have fewer than 50 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past 28 days.
The good news comes nearly two years to the day when Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines voluntary shutdown in March 2020 due to Covid-19.
Ready to move forward
Plummeting Covid cases on cruise ships is not news to the cruise lines, who are eager to move past the restart phase and back into normal operations.
Royal Caribbean’s senior vice president of hotel operations, Mark Tamis, talked about the prospects of moving past Covid last week while on Wonder of the Seas, "We are back and it’s the greatest vacation and safest there is."
"We’re not saying the return to cruising anymore, because we’re officially back."
"We’re back to bold."
A big part of cruising's success has been its reliance on proven health protocols throughout the pandemic.
Royal Caribbean requires guests aged 12 and older to be fully vaccinated and are asked to provide a negative test result taken no more than two days prior to boarding (or 3 if they are unvaccinated).
Unvaccinated children 11 and younger are required to test prior to sailing and are required to book an antigen testing appointment onboard the ship prior to departing. Unvaccinated children are only allowed to take approved Royal Caribbean shore excursions.
Crew are fully vaccinated and boosted when eligible, and Royal Caribbean states that they are regularly tested.