VIENNA, W.Va. (WTAP) – For more than two years now, health authorities have been warning people not to go on cruises. But everything has changed since Wednesday afternoon.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just dropped their risk assessment for cruise travel.
The COVID-19 cruise ship travel health notice and the CDC’s website dedicated to cruise travel were taken down Wednesday afternoon. This follows several weeks of low COVID-19 cases being reported on cruise ships.
Kim Walters, head of U.S. cruise sales in Vienna, said the CDC now hands over the decision-making to each cruise line.
“Last month some of the cruise lines, some of them pulled their mask mandates,” Walters said.
“So masking on cruise ships is pretty much up to you – so you can or you don’t have to…it’s entirely up to you. It certainly helped a bit because that a lot of people didn’t want to wear masks when they got on cruise ships. That’s the last thing people want to do on vacation. So after that happened, we started seeing, I I’ve started to see a few more phone calls for cruises. Hopefully after today’s announcement this will really start to help.
Walters said that while they’ve seen a drop in people booking cruise trips, she says they’re now seeing more people booking this year than before the pandemic began.
“People are ready to travel. They’ve been stuck inside for two years, it’s over,” Walters said.
“They want out, they want to leave. We get a lot of multi-generational trips – grandparents, parents, grandkids. So I think people have realized that there is a family unit and they want to be together more often because they haven’t been together for so long.
Walters said if someone is looking to travel to any country, whether they are on a cruise or not, there are still possible covid protocols.
“We’re just making sure they have all the information they need so that when they get to the airport they don’t get denied boarding or when they get there they don’t have not to worry about being refused entry into the country.”
Copyright 2022 WTAP. All rights reserved.