Several Cruise Lines Drop COVID Vaccination Requirements

The COVID-19 vaccination requirement will be dropped by four major cruise lines for some sailings next month, USA Today reported.

The cruise line won’t require guests who are not vaccinated to apply for an exemption after Sept. 6. These rates may change based on region and restrictions, such as Bermuda, Canada, and Greece, and do not include vacations in Australia and trips that are over 16 nights.

Princess Cruises will eliminate their requirements for the small number of international trips that are 16 days or less. Cruise lines currently require unvaccinated guests to have a vaccine exemption before they set sail.

‘Royal Caribbean Group, including Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, will accept all guests regardless of vaccination status beginning Sept. 5, a spokesperson told USA Today.

The additions to Royal Caribbean’s offerings include new sailings from Los Angeles, New Orleans, Galveston, and Europe. From the perspective of Celebrity, that means the cruises that leave from Los Angeles, Europe, and the U.K., – but not Ireland. The Bahamas and Caribbean cruises that depart from Florida ports still have vaccine rules.

Several cruise lines announced Friday that they will begin accepting unvaccinated passengers on many cruises starting Sept. 3, according to The Washington Post. Additionally, all pre-cruise requirements have been dropped for vaccinated passengers. Unvaccinated passengers must still test for disease within 72 hours of boarding.

Various testing restrictions have been rolled back by most cruise lines. Cruise lines Royal Caribbean and Celebrity require testing for unvaccinated passengers, but they only require vaccinated people to be tested on cruises six nights or longer. Carnival, MSC Cruises, and Silversea Cruises have instituted similar changes since the CDC stopped their COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships. When the program ended last month, the CDC was monitoring nearly every ship reporting data, The Post reported.

As of Sept. 6, Princess Cruises will require passengers on sailings of 16 nights or more to take a test as soon as possible after departing, as well as those on full Panama Canal transits. Unvaccinated passengers will have to show a negative test for all trips.

On Thursday, the CDC loosening its recommendations for screening and testing for Coronavirus in most settings led cruise companies to predict further restrictions being relaxed in coming days, the newspaper reported.

“We will continue to work closely with our partners around the world to develop updated safety protocols that accommodate destination regulations and the needs of guests, with the goal of continuing to meet destination regulations, in order to best provide for the safety of our guests and the communities we visit, Royal Caribbean said.” “This means we’re now entering the era where everyone will be able to vacation with us.”

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