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Global lines ease rules, but Aussie cruisers say: Don’t stop strict health checks

Australian cruisers have backed the country’s strict stance on cruise lines requiring COVID testing before boarding their voyages.

Cruise lines around the world are dropping testing requirements, after America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed their health and safety protocols.

Lines from the Royal Caribbean Group, Carnival Cruise Line and MSC Cruises revealed they will not now require fully vaccinated guests to present a negative COVID-19 test before departing on cruises from American ports that are five nights or less.

The Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Group brands, which include Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas, has also dropped its testing requirements for sailings from the United States, Canada, Bermuda and Greece on all length of sailings.

“The relaxation of the testing policy is in line with the rest of the travel, leisure and hospitality industry worldwide as society continues to adapt and return to a state of normalcy.”

Azamara, Viking and Virgin Voyages have also followed suit and Virgin will allow 10% of passengers to be unvaccinated on US sailings. Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line in America and MSC will allow unvaccinated passengers onboard as long as they test within three days of embarkation.

But when Cruise Passenger asked its readers what they thought, one Facebook user said, “Madness, Covid is still with us and this may ruin the cruise industry in the United States.”

Another said, “Opening it up to no testing at all will clear up confusion for passenger but it will increase Covid on ships and ruin more people’s cruises.”

But others are in support of the move, with some cruisers calling on the government to go back to pre-Covid requirements.

One reader said, “I would definitely still cruise. I got Covid on a ship with at least 95% vaccinated passengers who all tested negative prior to cruising. It’s not really any different if they don’t test and have more uvaxxed guests.”

Another Cruise Passenger Facebook reader said she would cruise, “In a heartbeat! Everyone is going to get it sooner or later. And so far, there is a better chance of catching it on shore due to the measures the industry has instituted.”

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