The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States issued an updated warning advising “all people” to avoid traveling on cruise ships during the coronavirus pandemic.
“CDC recommends that all people avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises, worldwide, because the risk of COVID-19 on cruise ships is very high,” the North American health-protection agency said.
The warning comes weeks after the CDC lifted a ban on cruise ships in U.S. waters.
“Cruise passengers are at increased risk of person-to-person spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19, and outbreaks of COVID-19 have been reported on cruise ships,” the CDC says.
Those who do travel on cruise ships should get tested 3-5 days after disembarking and quarantine for seven days regardless of the test result.
Impacts on Costa Rica
While the vast majority of tourists to Costa Rica arrive via a flight, cruise ships are a familiar sight in Limón and Puntarenas. According to the Tourism Board, more than 11,500 people arrived in Costa Rica via a ship in 2019.
The absence of cruise ships primarily impacts Costa Rica’s coastal cities, which even before the pandemic had higher levels of unemployment when compared to the rest of the country.
Costa Rica’s tourism high season typically begins in December, though the number of visitors will almost certainly be significantly lower than in previous years due to coronavirus spikes across the world.