Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings to drop vaccination requirement and ease COVID testing

Aug 09, 2022

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings will end its customer vaccine requirements and relax its coronavirus testing rules next month.

Starting September 3, fully vaccinated passengers 12 years of age and older will no longer need to be tested before boarding all ships on Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas. Passengers in that age group who are unvaccinated or who do not show proof of vaccination will be allowed on board as long as they have a negative PCR or antigen test taken 72 hours before boarding. Children under the age of 12 will not need to be tested or vaccinated. Requirements could still vary depending on local regulations in different ports, "including but not limited to Canada, Greece and Bermuda," the statement said.

"Our long-awaited revisions to our testing and vaccination requirements bring us closer to the rest of society, which has learned to adapt and live with COVID-19," Norwegian President and CEO Frank Del Rio said in a press release.

According to Norwegian Sail Safe protocols, voyages up to 2 September will still require all crew and all guests over the age of 12 to be fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to the departure date. Until the new policy takes effect, the protocols say, all guests over the age of 2 will still be required to show a negative test before travel, regardless of their vaccination status. Children between 2 and 11 years old will still need to show a negative test (antigen if vaccinated, PCR if not vaccinated) until September 2nd.

Norwegian's moves to loosen pandemic-era protocols follow similar decisions by industry leaders Carnival and Royal Caribbean, which announced last month that they were dropping testing for vaccinated passengers on some voyages of less than a week.

About a month ago, Norwegian announced it would stop requiring pre-cruise testing in August "unless required by local regulations," which continued testing on ships in U.S. waters as the company accepted standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. disease prevention.

On July 18, the CDC ended its covid-19 program for US cruise ships, removing outbreak data for individual cruise ships from its website and leaving companies to set their own standards. The Public Health Agency recommends that customers get tested for the coronavirus no more than three days before their cruise, regardless of their vaccination status.