New York — The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has escalated its warning for cruise travel to the highest level and continued to recommend avoiding any trips on cruise ships worldwide.

The agency raised its warning to level four from three, citing “very high” risk of Covid-19 on cruise ships. Passengers are at increased risk of person-to-person spread of Covid-19 and should get tested and stay home for at least seven days after travel, according to its website.

“For most travellers, cruise ship travel is voluntary and should be rescheduled for a future date,” the CDC said.

The agency last month provided a framework for cruise lines to plan for resuming operations. Under that order, passenger operations are not allowed during initial phases, and every ship must be certified by the CDC before travellers can board.

The eight-month shutdown has been catastrophic for the cruise line industry and its three biggest operators, Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line.

Earlier this month, Carnival cancelled additional trips as it works to meet CDC requirements, pausing US operations until January 31.


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