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Photo: Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that while it recommends all staff and travelers aboard cruise ships be vaccinated for COVID-19, cruise companies do not need to mandate vaccines in order to resume travel safely.

Why it matters: Cruise ships were some of the first super-spreader sites for the coronavirus in 2020 and have been docked ever since.

  • The industry has been eager to get back to business, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has threatened to sue the federal government if the CDC does not allow cruises to restart by the summer.
  • CDC guidance will still mandate that masks be worn on board by staff and passengers, as well as at "all U.S. transportation hubs, including seaports and ferry terminals."

The new CDC guidance will allow cruise ships to begin trial runs of their operations — and then to apply for a permit to operate regularly, per the New York Times.

Between the lines: Making vaccines a recommendation rather than a requirement also avoids conflict with port-bearing states that have or may ban the use of vaccine passports — including Florida.

  • Vaccine mandates for some cruises' destinations may still apply.

Go deeper

Updated 3 mins ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

Katie Ledecky celebrates with teammate Erica Sullivan after winning the women’s 1500m freestyle final. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

🚨: Katie Ledecky wins gold in first women's 1500m freestyle

🤸🏾‍♀️: Simone Biles pulls out of gymnastics team finals, citing her mental health

🎾: "This one sucks more than the others," Naomi Osaka says on upset loss

⚽️: USA women's soccer ties Australia, propelling them to the quarterfinals

🏊‍♀️: Teen swimmer Lydia Jacoby wins first U.S. women's Tokyo Games gold

👟: World Athletics president supports reviewing marijuana rules in doping

🏄‍♀️: American Carissa Moore wins first-ever women's Olympic gold in surfing

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage - Medal tracker

13 mins ago - Sports

Katie Ledecky wins gold in first women's 1500m freestyle

Katie Ledecky at the Tokyo Games. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Katie Ledecky took home the gold medal in the women's 1,500-meter freestyle swimming race Tuesday evening, becoming the first female swimmer to win the newly added division. Team USA's Erica Sullivan won silver.

Driving the news: The long-distance 1,500m race has traditionally only been available to men at the Olympics, and the Tokyo Games mark the first time that it has been open to women.

Activision Blizzard CEO calls company's response to suit "tone deaf"

Photo: Bloomberg/ Getty Images

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick sent a lengthy letter to employees late on Tuesday, listing steps the company will take to address widespread allegations of sexist and discriminatory conduct at the "Call of Duty" and "World of Warcraft" gaming company.

Why it matters: This was the most comprehensive message from the company, and a softer one than had been sent by Kotick's PR people and a top executive last week.