Are cruise lines dropping the vaccine mandate?

Disney Cruise Line will no longer require vaccines on most of its trips starting in October, the company announced Tuesday, being the last major cruise line to reduce its vaccine requirement in most of the U.S. UU. For trips on Disney Wish, Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy and Disney Wonder starting October 1.Unvaccinated travelers 5 years of age or older must submit a negative coronavirus test performed within two days of the departure date, either using an observed antigen test or a laboratory PCR test. Vaccinated travelers and children under 5 are not required to get tested The family-focused cruise line withdrew its vaccination requirement for children between 5 and 11 years old in August.

The company didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on its announcement on Tuesday. Welcome aboard, unvaccinated cruise ship passengers The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ended its COVID program for cruise ships in July. Since then, all major cruise lines operating in the U.S. , including Norwegian, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess and MSC Cruises, have removed their vaccination requirements for all but a few trips, according to their websites.

Depending on the company, vaccines may be required for trips that last longer than 16 days or that visit ports of call with additional requirements, such as Bermuda and Greece. Anne Madison, spokesperson for the International Cruise Line Association (CLIA), said in a statement provided to The Washington Post that “most countries, travel industries and other companies have eliminated testing and vaccination requirements, as a greater part of the population has been vaccinated or has recovered. Of cases of coronavirus. As of Tuesday, the only maritime cruise line that needs to be vaccinated on US Sailings is Cunard Line, a British luxury airline that operates three ships, including the only remaining ocean liner in service.

Cunard requires that all adults get vaccinated, even with a booster if more than 270 days have passed since their initial vaccination, and that they get tested before departure, according to its website. Travel agencies and cruise companies have seen an increase in bookings in recent weeks following the lifting of vaccination requirements, although company executives said they expect most passengers to remain vaccinated. The recovery is a boon for the industry after a 15-month shutdown, but COVID remains a cause for concern, as experts have warned that the proximity of ships is particularly conducive to the spread of the virus. CDC continues to recommend staying up to date with vaccines, including boosters, before traveling on a cruise ship and getting tested no more than three days before departure.

With more and more cruise lines dropping all COVID related travel requirements, we're returning to sailing as usual. However, last July, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) withdrew its COVID-19 Program for cruise ships, allowing individual cruise lines to set their own standards. Disney Cruise Line will soon abandon its vaccination mandate, one of the last large cruise lines to do so. Norwegian Cruise Line, the world's third largest cruise operator by passenger number, announced Monday that it will remove COVID-19 vaccination, testing and masking requirements for travel starting this week.

Disney Cruise Line will no longer require vaccines on most of its trips starting in October, the company announced Tuesday, marking the last major cruise line to reduce its vaccine requirement in most of the United States. .

Elise Thorne
Elise Thorne

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