‘Petri dish’ cruise ships should halt sailings on COVID surge, Senate’s Blumenthal says

Kasia Klimasinska

Cruise ships are “repeating recent history as petri dishes of Covid-19 infection”, said Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, urging the companies and health agencies to curb operations.

“Time for CDC & cruise lines to protect consumers & again pause— docking their ships,” he said in a tweet.

Subcommittee chairman Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., speaks during a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, in Washington.

Cruise line operators like Carnival Corp. have implemented Covid-19 safeguards, such as masking and proof of vaccination. Still, the fast-spreading omicron variant triggered reports of ships being turned away at the ports due to infections on board.

Covid concerns are already reflected in cruise stocks, with Carnival Corp. closing 1.2% down Monday, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. retreating 1.4% and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. down 2.6%.