Over 600,000 guests have sailed since June from the U.S.
Travel Weekly.com is reporting the CDC is reporting that since June 26 through October 21rst a total of 1,359 laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 cases have been reported on cruise ships that sailed from U.S. ports.
CDC has also reported that of those cases 49 of those cases required hospitalization, and 38 called for medical evacuations. CDC does not reveal how many were unvaccinated of the group that required hospitalization.
The majority of the cruise ships sailing from the U.S. other than Norwegian Cruise Line ships followed the CDC guidelines of allowing up to 5% of the guests onboard who were not vaccinated. NCL requires all guests to be vaccinated and does not allow unvaccinated children onboard their ships.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio said an earnings call that since its restart this summer, "the prevalence of cases we identified in pre-boarding testing, mid-cruise and at debarkation were inconsequential and well below what we all saw in the general population during this time."
Royal Caribbean reported during its third-quarter business update last week that since the end of June, it has carried half a million passengers, both from U.S. ports and abroad, and has had 150 Covid cases, a rate of 0.03%.
According to Travel Weekly.com, the CDC said that despite the cruise lines' implementation of strict protocols to prevent the introduction of Covid-19, "ensuring passengers are uninfected at embarkation has proven difficult. There have been several instances of passengers' being symptomatic on the day of embarkation and denying symptoms to the cruise line, or passengers' being symptomatic for several days onboard the ship before reporting their symptoms to the medical center."
The CDC noted that "high vaccination rates onboard these cruise ships likely explain why onboard medical center resources have not been overwhelmed." That statement would seem to reinforce NCL CEO Del Rio's position that fully vaccinated guests and crew offers the safest experience.
Since July cruise lines have been following CDC guidelines on a voluntary basis as a result of a Judge's decision that the CDC did not have the legal standing to regulate cruise ships.
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