Royal Caribbean International cruises have announced a new policy regarding travel requirements for COVID-19, which allows guests to board without being tested for the virus beforehand. In a recent update, the cruise line revealed that the relaxed measures will apply to all passengers “regardless of their vaccination status”, although not all sailings will benefit from the “simplified” travel conditions.
The easing measures, effective Wednesday, November 2, 2022, will allow passengers to board most Royal Caribbean sailings before departure without testing.
In a statement released earlier this week, the cruise line revealed that the decision had been made to “further simplify the experience for its guests,” regardless of their vaccination status.
It comes as travel restrictions around the world continue to ease after the peak of the pandemic.
However, there are some policy restrictions that apply to three sailings.
On their website, Royal Caribbean International states that cruises from the US and the Caribbean with stopovers in Colombia, Haiti or Honduras are still subject to testing measures.
The same goes for transatlantic cruises and cruises from Australia.
Cruises from the US and the Caribbean
All guests aged 12 or older have three days to complete a PCR or antigen test prior to the cruise, regardless of the length of their stay.
This applies to passengers who have not been fully vaccinated. According to Royal Caribbean, a guest is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the required number of doses have been administered in their WHO or US-FDA approved vaccine series.
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The shipping company states that all guests aged five years and older must submit a negative test result for COVID-19 within two days of boarding.
Passengers aged four years and under are not bound by any testing measures.
Tests should be supervised by a health professional, such as a physician, pharmacy assistant, public health worker, or telehealth professional.
Royal Caribbean said: “Tele-health tests at home are accepted for vaccinated guests and must be performed under live video surveillance. Tests must be self-organized and at your own expense.”
Cruises from Australia
Royal Caribbean sailings from Australia continue to operate with strict testing requirements.
The cruise line states that all guests two years and older must present a negative PCR or Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) within one day of boarding.
This applies to all cruises departing from Australia, regardless of passenger length of stay and vaccination status.
Evidence of testing is accepted in the form of a printout, PCR email confirmation, image of your RAT test, or the negative test itself.
What restrictions apply on board?
Regional travel restrictions vary by ship and destination, although the cruise line has noted that they will continue to take measures on all ships to protect passengers.
Royal Caribbean said: “The cruise line’s additional layers of health and safety measures exceed other vacation experiences, including routine monitoring and vaccination of all crew members and keeping boosters informed when they qualify, improved testing and treatment options.” in our onboard medical facilities, and more.”
The international fleet has joined a handful of other cruise operators, including Cunard, Virgin Voyages and Norweigan Cruise Line, in lifting restrictions.
Disney would be next on the list to remove the COVID-19 testing requirements for all passengers from Monday, November 14, 2022.