What Can I Do To Minimize My Exposure To Covid
Although many cruise lines no longer require mask-wearing on ships, they still recommend that you wear one, based on guidance from various health authorities and experts.
Keeping socially distant from other passengers is another strategy for staying healthy on ships as is regular hand-washing and hand sanitizing.
Major cruise lines typically place free hand sanitizer at the entrance to most public rooms on ships. Restaurants on newer cruise ships often have hand-washing stations at their entrances. On some ships, cruise ship staff are assigned to stand at the entrances to onboard restaurants and require passengers to wash or sanitize their hands.
The Latest Cruise Line To Drop Covid
Since the COVID-19 pandemic first hit in March 2020, cruise lines have been working hard to keep up with the various regulations and health requirements in an effort to keep their passengers safe. These protocols have included testing, vaccination, and capacity requirements for cruise lines. As the pandemic has continued and as vaccines have become more readily available, cruise lines have begun to relax their requirements for passengers boarding their vessels, including modifying COVID-19 protocols. Recently, several other cruise lines have dropped requirements that all passengers be tested for COVID-19 prior to boarding their vessels.
The most recent of these changes has come from Virgin Voyages, the adults only cruise line that debuted in 2021. Starting this month, Virgin Voyages is no longer requiring COVID-19 pre-cruise testing before boarding their vessels. Beginning with the July 24 sailing of the Valiant Lady and the July 27 sailing of the Scarlet Lady, Virgin Voyages passengers will no longer need to provide a negative COVID-19 test before boarding their ships.
Officials at Virgin stated that the reason for changing this requirement was due to the Center for Disease Control dropping their COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Holland America Lines
P& O Cruises
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Changes Its Vaccine Requirements
- Publish date: Jul 29, 2022 7:26 PM EDT
The covid pandemic has not ended, but the United States has gotten better at managing it. People still get infected, but the easy availability of vaccines as well as new treatments has kept serious illness from overwhelming America’s hospitals.
Most of the country has simply moved past the covid pandemic. You might see people opting to wear masks in certain places in public, but the country had been fully back open for business for months.
The cruise industry has lagged behind the rest of the travel industry. That’s because Royal Caribbean International – Get Royal Caribbean Group Report, Carnival Cruise Lines – Get Carnival Corporation Report, Norwegian Cruise Line – Get Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Report, and the rest of the cruise lines that sail from U.S. ports are regulated by the Centers for Disease Control .
That changed just a few weeks ago when the CDC decided to stop its covid tracking program on cruise ships. The government agency did provide guidance for the cruise industry, but it stopped even its voluntary monitoring program.
That led to Virgin Voyage, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival, among others, to either fully drop pre-cruise covid testing or only require it on voyages six nights and over . Virgin also loosened its vaccine requirement. Previously, all customers on the adults-only ships had to be vaccinated. Now, up to 10% of passengers can sail without being vaccinated.
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Entering Canada By Land Or Air Before Embarking On A Cruise
You must complete your ArriveCAN submission before entering Canada, no more than 72 hours of boarding your flight or before entering Canada by land.
- If youre flying in to join a cruise immediately, enter the address of your terminal.
- If youre not joining the cruise immediately, enter the address of your hotel.
You must also submit a second ArriveCAN submission no more than 72 hours before boarding the cruise. This applies even if your second ArriveCAN submission is within 72 hours of the first submission.
Upon your entry to Canada by air or at a land border crossing, the border services officer may notify you that youve been randomly selected for a mandatory arrival test.
Mandatory random testing is part of the Government of Canada surveillance program to track the importation of COVID-19 virus into Canada, and identify new variants of concern.
Are Covid Vaccinations And Testing Still Required For Cruises
Courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions
Lindblad Expeditions is one of the few cruise lines still asking passengers to mask up onboard.
Its hard to keep track as regulations continue to change and evolve. This is the latest for those heading out to sea soon or considering it.
Two years after the start of the pandemic, cruise lines are back in business and more ships are returning to sea. On all of them, you need to be vaccinated in order to cruise and precruise testing is now a fact of life.
COVID tests are no longer required for international flights to the U.S. but cruises will continue to mandate them, as well as vaccines, for the foreseeable future. Royal Caribbean, for instance, recently extended its vaccine and testing rules through September on cruises in North America. If adults want to cruise this summer, they will need to be fully vaccinated, meaning they have had all inoculations at least 14 days prior to their sailing date. There are some exceptions for kids under the age of 12.
If you are planning to cruise in Europe and some other parts of the world, you may also be required by your cruise line to have received a booster shot, based on the government COVID-19 travel policies of the countries you are sailing to.
The agency has also provided the cruise lines with greater leeway to set and monitor their own policies. Consequently, most cruise lines have opted to make masks optional for vaccinated guests .
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Cruise Lines Require Vaccinations Tests Amid Virus Surge
MIAMI Joel Steckler was eager for his first cruise in more than a year and a half, and he chose the ship that just two months ago became the first to accept passengers again after a long pandemic shutdown.
Steckler was fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and that was enough to resume cruising, under initial guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Now, the 63-year-old from Long Island, New York, is going to postpone the trip he had planned for Saturday amid new, tighter guidelines prompted by the delta-variant-fueled surge in cases and breakthrough infections.
You just have to make a personal decision, said Steckler, who takes medication that suppresses his immune system and changed his plans after consulting his doctor. You dont want to be in a position where you are sick on a cruise and you have to fly home or somehow get home.
Some cruise lines and cruise destinations are also revising their own guidelines.
The companies are also once again requiring masks in indoor areas of the ships and other places where people gather.
Need To Know Information
Pre-cruise boarding checklist:
- Register with Carnival and complete your pre-cruise vaccine attestation question email within 24 hours of booking if unvaccinated guest is on reservation you will need to submit a request for capacity-managed exemption within 48 hours of making reservation – this must be done in order to prevent cancellation of your booking
- Verify if you need to get a negative viral COVID-19 test taken
- Complete online health questionnaire 72 hours prior to sailing
- Pack your vaccine card if vaccinated
- Florida & Texas based ships need travel Insurance requirement for unvaccinated guests
- Masks – recommended not required
- Shore excursions – Unvaccinated guests may be permitted to go ashore when booked on an excersion – unless otherwise specified.
- Guests are traveling on back to back cruises, regardless of vaccination status, will need to be tested between voyages
What are the pre-cruise COVID-19 tests requirements?
Effective for embarkations on or after Thursday, August 4:
- No pre-cruise testing for fully vaccinated guests booked on cruises with itineraries 5 nights or less.
- Pre-cruise testing for itineraries 6 nights or longer can be conducted three days before departure.
There will be no in-terminal testing for unvaccinated guests on day of departure, but all unvaccinated guests ages 2 and older must provide proof of a negative result of a lab-administered or supervised self-administered antigen COVID test taken within three days before embarkation.
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Royal Caribbean Internationals Vaccine Policies
For cruises departing from any U.S. port, Royal Caribbean requires all guests 12 years of age and older to be fully vaccinated. Younger travelers , who are unvaccinated, can sail if they bring a negative PCR test result and test negative at boarding, and they must follow certain health and safety protocols.
Vaccine requirements are one of the multilayered measures that safeguard the well-being of our guests, our crew and the communities we visit. Additional health and safety measures include our fully vaccinated crew, testing, the robust onboard ventilation system and enhanced cleaning.
In collaboration with multiple national, state and local health and government authorities around the world, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our priority is to maintain everyones well-being while complying with federal, state and local laws as we always have. Royal Caribbean will continue to evaluate and update its health and safety measures as circumstances evolve.
Guests and travel advisors looking for information on our measures can visit the Royal Caribbean website. Our current vaccine policies, which are in line with local regulations, are the following:
*Until further notice for all sailings from the U.S.: Guests 2 and older regardless of their vaccination status must present negative test results when arriving to check in.
When Your Cruise Ends
- If youre symptomatic at final disembarkation, a Quarantine Officer may require you to isolate.
- If you take a test after your cruise ends in Canada , and the test result is positive, you will be required to follow the requirements of the local public health authority, which may include isolation. Plan to have enough funds to cover the costs of a suitable place to isolate, food, and any medical bills.
- A positive test, including a recent positive within the last 10 days, may prevent you from boarding a flight departing Canada, or being able to take other public transit.
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Is The Cdc Still Listing The Covid
No. As of July 18, the CDC stopped posting information on the extent of COVID-19 cases on cruise ships on its website.
Previously the line listed a color status for every cruise ship sailing in U.S. waters red, yellow or green on its Program for Cruise Ships website. This color status indicated how widespread COVID-19 was on board. As COVID-19 screening policies have begun to vary more widely from line to line in recent months, making apples-to-apples comparisons between ships has become more difficult, the CDC suggested.
The previous color-coding system under CDCs COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships depended upon each cruise line having the same COVID-19 screening testing standards, which may now vary among cruise lines, the CDC said Monday in announcing the end to the color-coded status postings. Therefore, the cruise ship color status webpage has been retired.
Cruise lines are still required to report COVID-19 cases on ships to the CDC. The data just arent being reported to the public.
Travel Health Insurance And Evacuation Insurance
You should check with your regular health insurance company to see if your policy will cover any medical care you might need in another country or on board the ship. If not, you can purchase travel health insurance to cover you during your trip.
Also, look for gaps in your insurance coverage. For example, your health insurance might not cover medical evacuation if you cannot receive needed treatment where you are. Evacuation by air ambulance can cost $50,000$100,000 and must be paid in advance by people who do not have insurance. You can buy medical evacuation insurance to be sure you will have access to emergency care. See more information on travel health insurance.
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How Are The Rules For Travelers Changing On Cruise Ships
Carnival Cruise Line will no longer require pre-cruise testing for vaccinated guests on voyages that are five nights or fewer beginning Aug. 4, the cruise line said Friday. Travelers can get tested three days before departure for trips six nights or more.
Unvaccinated passengers 2 years and older must show a negative result from a “lab-administered or supervised self-administered antigen COVID test taken within three days before embarkation,” according to a press release, and there will not be in-terminal testing for those guests on the date of departure.
The cruise line will make protocol changes in phases, with more to come “shortly.” Any changes are subject to the local requirements at various destinations.
Royal Caribbean Group will drop its testing requirement for vaccinated passengers on some voyages, the company said Thursday. Beginning on August 8, testing will be only be required for vaccinated guests on sailings that are six or more nights, and will be required for unvaccinated guests on all trips according to a news release.
President and CEO Jason Liberty told USA TODAY that “sometime in the next 30 to 45 days” the company also expects to drop the testing rule for vaccinated passengers on longer voyages, where local requirements allow.
“We’re highly focused on making sure that our guests and our crew are safe and healthy at all times,” he said, and noted that the company will continue to operate “highly vaccinated” sailings.
Thorough & Effective Mobilization Plan In Event Of Outbreakmobilization & Response
If a positive case of COVID-19 occurs, we have various contact tracing methodologies to identify and notify those who may have been exposed.
Dedicated isolation and quarantine accommodations will be available if needed. We follow CDC and Local Health Authority policies and guidance in regards to isolation and quarantine for positive cases and close contacts.
We have developed a thorough mobilization and response plan focused on collaborating with local authorities and coordinating safe passage home for all guests and crew should the need arise. We have also established relationships with onshore medical institutions and enhanced our telemedicine consultation capabilities.
We have improved our onboard medical capabilities with additional staffing directly related to sailing capacity, new and upgraded equipment and enhanced facilities. All vessels will have COVID-19 testing capabilities on board and results onsite. We have increased intensive care units capacity onboard and ICUs are equipped with infusion pumps, IV treatments, cardiac monitors, defibrillators, cardiac pacemakers and ventilators.
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Boarding Cruises And Shore Excursions
Some requirements for boarding a cruise, either at the beginning of the cruise or as part of a shore excursion, may be different depending on where you are boarding and which countries your ship will visit.
Mandatory requirements for all travellers, including Canadians, include pre-embarkation testing and can include ArriveCAN if your ship is coming to or returning to Canada.
Choose the scenario below that best fits your cruise plans:
These requirements apply to cruises:
- arriving in Canada from a foreign country
- starting in Canada, but travelling outside Canadian waters and then returning to Canada
All travellers are required to:
What Onboard Covid Safety Measures Are Cruise Ships Still Taking
As noted above, most cruise lines still require all or most passengers to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Most cruise lines also require all crew on ships to be vaccinated for COVID-19, and on most ships crew also continue to wear masks at all times.
In addition, as noted above, most lines still require passengers to test negative for COVID-19 before boarding ships and crew are regularly tested for COVID-19, too. Passengers and crew who test positive for COVID-19 while on board a vessel are isolated.
In the past two years, cruise lines have made significant investments in sophisticated air filtration systems for cabins and other onboard areas of ships and have increased cleaning and sanitizing efforts on ships. Medical centers on ships have also been upgraded and often are staffed at a higher level than in pre-COVID-19 times.
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Shore Excursions In Canada During The Cruise
- there is no arrival testing for passengers entering Canada for shore excursions
- you may be asked to show your ArriveCAN receipt from your initial embarkation
- you wont have to resubmit ArriveCAN
- if you arent fully vaccinated due to medical reasons, youre allowed to join a shore excursion. You must have proof of a valid medical contraindication and a valid ArriveCAN submission.
- if you arent fully vaccinated due to a sincerely-held religious belief, you arent allowed to disembark the ship in Canada except in a medical emergency.
All travellers are required to take a pre-embarkation COVID-19 test before embarking on a cruise in Canada, even if the cruise ship is not leaving Canadian waters
Travellers who are staying within Canada throughout their entire journey or who are leaving Canada and not returning dont have to complete ArriveCAN.