Disney Cruise Line has announced kids aged five to 11 will no longer need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 if they are leaving from a US or Canadian port from September 2.

The cruise line previously required all guests aged five or older to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Disney Cruise Line’s website says:“In consideration of CDC guidance, Disney Cruise Line highly recommends that guests aged 11 and younger be fully vaccinated before sailing.”

Despite the US Food and Drug Administration approving COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as six months, Disney had not extended its vaccine requirement to the youngest children.

Guests aged 12 and over will still be required to present proof of an approved vaccination before sailing with Disney.

The easing of restrictions comes after the US CDC stopped monitoring cruise ships in mid July. It will still make testing recommendations to cruise lines who will report COVID cases.

The CDC said that cruise lines have the knowledge to develop their own COVID plan.

The CDC added: “Additionally, cruise travellers have access to recommendations that allow them to make informed decisions about cruise ship travel.”

What are Disney Cruise Line’s COVID vaccination requirements?

While vaccine requirements have been removed, all travellers will still be required to have a COVID-19 test before departure.

Fully vaccinated travellers who present a negative COVID-19 test taken 24 to 48 hours before departure will not be required to take a test at the cruise terminal.

Guests who do not present a negative result will be required to pay for a test at the terminal, otherwise they won’t be permitted to board the ship.

Unvaccinated guests must provide a negative test taken before port arrival and will need to take a second at the terminal. The second test will be paid for by Disney.

What COVID requirements are in place by other cruise lines?

Other cruise lines to ease COVID-19 rules include Royal Caribbean who no longer requires guests to be vaccinated if they are sailing from certain US or European ports.

Celebrity Cruises is also easing vaccination requirements for some destinations on September 5.

Meanwhile Carnival Cruise Line will allow unvaccinated guests to sail on most itineraries from September 6.