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Photo: Richard Tribou/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The CDC said Thursday that passengers should "avoid cruise ships, regardless of vaccination status," citing an increased threat of COVID-19.

Driving the news: The CDC raised its travel health notice to the highest level on Thursday, saying "COVID-19 spreads easily between people in close quarters on board ships," adding that the chance of getting the virus onboard is "very high."

  • The CDC added that individuals who travel on a cruise ship should be fully vaccinated and get tested one to three days before their trip and three to five days after it, regardless of vaccination status or symptoms.

The big picture: The health notice comes as a surge of COVID-19 cases, likely driven by the Omicron variant, batters the cruise industry.

  • As of Thursday, the CDC said it was actively investigating or observing 91 cruise ships with COVID-19 outbreaks on board.
  • An additional three ships are being monitored due to reported coronavirus infections, according to the CDC's update.

What they're saying: "The decision by the CDC to raise the travel level for cruise is particularly perplexing considering that cases identified on cruise ships consistently make up a very slim minority of the total population onboard," the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said in a statement.

  • "While we are disappointed and disagree with the decision to single out the cruise industry ... CLIA and our ocean-going cruise line members remain committed to working collaboratively with the CDC in the interest of public health and safety."

Go deeper: Omicron brings calls to pause cruise ships again

Go deeper

Jan 15, 2022 - Health

Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron

Three COVID-19 testing companies place testing locations outside Grand Central Terminal on Jan. 14 in New York City. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Experts are warning that subsequent COVID-19 variants are likely to come after Omicron, AP reports.

Why it matters: The warnings come as there's no guarantee that subsequent variants "will cause milder illness or that existing vaccines will work against them," underscoring the need for widespread vaccination, AP writes.

Hope King, author of Closer
41 mins ago - Economy & Business

Peloton pumps its brakes

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Peloton’s popularity is falling as swiftly as it shot up.

Why it matters: Not all pandemic habits stick around. Peloton's trajectory over the past two years exemplifies how challenging it's been for companies to gauge shifts in consumer demand — particularly in sectors heavily altered by the pandemic.

First look: Senators propose bill to ban corporate PACs

Sens. Jon Ossoff and Mark Kelly. Photos: Chip Somodevilla (left), Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) will soon propose a bill prohibiting for-profit corporations from establishing and managing political action committees, according to a copy of the legislation obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The introduction of "The Ban Corporate PACs Act" comes amid heightened scrutiny on Capitol Hill regarding money in politics, including efforts to bar companies from influencing political campaigns and federal elections. It would likely face a court challenge and First Amendment concerns.