Most passengers will soon be able to cruise without testing first.
Vaccinated guests sailing Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas ships will no longer be subject to any pre-departure COVID testing requirements for departures after September 3, 2022.
Unvaccinated guests, however, will still need to present a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of the ship’s departure.
To be considered fully vaccinated, a guest must provide proof they have received the full course of an approved vaccination.
“Our long-awaited revisions to our testing and vaccination requirements bring us closer in line with the rest of society which has learned to adapt and live with COVID-19 and makes it simpler and easier for our loyal guests to cruise on our three best-in-class brands.” said Frank Del Rio, the company president and CEO, in a statement.
“Health and safety is our top priority,” Mr Del Rio said, “and we will continue to modify our robust SailSAFE program as the public health environment evolves.”
He was optimistic that the relaxation of protocols would help the cruise industry further recover from the pandemic.
The new procedures may vary depending on the local regulations. Pre-cruise COVID protocols may still vary for guests visiting Bermuda, Canada, Greece and some other nations.
The major changes subject to local regulations from September 3, 2022 are:
- Vaccinated guests aged 12 years or older will no longer face any pre-cruise COVID protocols.
- Unvaccinated guests aged 12 years or older will still need to present a negative PCR or Rapid Antigen test taken no earlier than 72 hours before boarding.
- Guests aged 11 years or older are not subject to vaccination requirements or testing protocols.
NCL is still strongly recommending guests be fully vaccinated and tested at their own leisure prior to departure.