CDC Tells Cruise Ships To Stop Reporting On COVID, ‘Manage Their Own’ Programs

Monday’s announcement came as a surprise — and sent stock shares soaring for cruise ship companies.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a surprise announcement saying it had stopped reporting on cases of COVID on cruise ships.

The CDC said it would continue issuing recommendations to help cruise ships ensure safe passage for their passengers and crews. But the agency’s COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships — under which it monitored cruise ships for COVID cases — is no longer in effect, per Monday’s statement.

According to MarketWatch, the CDC said cruise operators will now “manage their own COVID-19 mitigation programs.”

“CDC has worked closely with the cruise industry, state, territorial, and local health authorities, and federal and seaport partners to provide a safer and healthier environment for cruise passengers and crew,” the health protection agency said in an FAQ accompanying its decision.

“Cruise ships have access to guidance and tools to manage their own COVID-19 mitigation programs,” the statement continued. “Additionally, cruise travelers have access to recommendations that allow them to make informed decisions about cruise ship travel. While cruising poses some risk of COVID-19 transmission, CDC will continue to publish guidance to help cruise ships continue to provide a safer and healthier environment for crew, passengers, and communities going forward.”

Cruise ships frequently came under scrutiny during the early stages of the pandemic.

In late March of this year, the CDC ditched its two-year advisory against cruise travel, according to the New York Post.

The agency reportedly said travelers should “make their own risk assessment when choosing to travel on a cruise ship, much like they do in all other travel settings.”

Shares of Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. rose in price following the CDC’s Monday announcement, according to MarketWatch.

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