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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has relaxed its warning for cruise travel for the first time since several outbreaks on ships brought the industry to a halt last year. But it also recommended that only fully vaccinated people embark when cruises resume from U.S. ports this summer.
“Since the virus spreads more easily between people in close quarters aboard ships, the chance of getting COVID-19 on cruise ships is high,” the agency said. It recommended that all passengers get tested a few days before and after their trip, while urging unvaccinated travelers to self-quarantine for seven days after disembarkation.
The new guidelines come after the CDC gave the green light for cruises from U.S. ports to resume this summer amid pressure from hard-hit cruise operators and pent-up customer demand. But one of the first cruises scheduled to sail from the United States was postponed earlier this week after eight crew members tested positive for the virus.
Here are some significant developments:
- The Biden administration announced Thursday a $3.2 billion plan to fund drugs that would be ready to treat future viral threats — whether a hemorrhagic fever, influenza or another coronavirus.
- The head of an international expert panel established by the World Health Organization to investigate the pandemic says the WHO was wrong to oppose bans on flights from China early last year.
- A government study in Britain said 90 percent of new coronavirus cases in the country are the delta variant, and it is growing rapidly, according to test results from 100,000 people — further justifying the postponement of England’s total reopening that had been set for June 21.
- Poor quality hospitals may explain higher covid mortality rates among Blacks, a study says.
- The United States on Thursday reported a seven-day rolling average of 11,974 infections. The seven-day average of covid deaths is below 300 for the first time since March 27, 2020, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Thursday.