Shares of cruise lines jump after CDC ends Covid-19 program

NEW YORK, USA – JULY 10: An aerial photo of the cruise ship “Norwegian Joy” sails up the Hudson River in front of the Manhattan skyline when the sun goes down in New York City, USA July 10, 2022.

Lokman Vural Elibol | Anadolu Agency | Getty pictures

Shares of cruise lines including Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian rose on Tuesday after the US Center for Disease Control ended its Covid-1[ads1]9 cruise ship program.

The CDC’s cruise ship program, which became voluntary earlier this year, required all passengers to be tested, encouraged to vaccinate employees and passengers, and outline specific quarantine procedures in the event of an outbreak.

The CDC said it would continue to provide guidance for cruise ship handling of Covid-19 cases, but that companies could now use their own strategies to reduce the spread of the virus. This means that cruise lines can create their own guidelines regarding vaccination, testing and quarantine requirements.

Carnival shares rose around 7% on Tuesday to close at $ 10.36, while Royal Caribbean shares rose almost 6% to $ 36.36 and Norwegian shares rose about 3.5% to $ 12.85.

The CDC’s change is expected to give cruise ships more flexibility, which could allow more passengers on ships and lower costs for industry.

“Although we fully expect cruise operators to continue to mandate passengers to be vaccinated before sailing,” wrote Steven M. Wieczynski, a Stifel analyst. “We believe today’s news will give cruise operators more flexibility around the inclusion of younger individuals.”

A Royal Caribbean representative said the company is awaiting further guidance from the CDC before setting its own guidelines.

The cruise industry has been on the wavelength since the pandemic began, and has recently worked to restore operations back to pre-2020 levels.

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