CDC’s role in helping cruise ship travelers during the COVID-19 pandemic
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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CDC is working with partners as part of the Unified Command, including Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, port authorities, local and state health departments, and Department of State, to respond to COVID-19 aboard cruise ships. CDC recommends that cruise ship travelers with no symptoms or mild symptoms disembark as quickly and safely as possible at US ports of entry: Cruise line companies must get travelers directly to their homes via chartered or private transportation. Commercial flights and public transportation may not be used. Since February 2020, travelers on dozens of cruise ships have been affected by COVID-19 outbreaks. Cruise ships are often settings for outbreaks of infectious diseases because of the semi-enclosed environment and contact between travelers from many countries. Outbreaks of COVID-19 on cruise ships pose a risk for rapid spread of disease beyond the voyage. Aggressive efforts are required to contain spread. CDC realizes that it might be confusing for travelers when recommendations change during the COVID-19 pandemic response. The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and globally is constantly changing. We will continue to evaluate and update our recommendations for returning cruise ship travelers as the situation evolves.