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Good news for many cruisers as another cruise line is ending pre-cruise testing for vaccinated passengers on many of its itineraries starting on August 8th, 2022.
Royal Caribbean Group (RCL) CEO Jason Liberty announced the news:
“Last week, the CDC ended its COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships. Based on this change, we are continuing to adapt our protocols to align more closely with how the rest of society and other travel and leisure businesses are operating.
This means that we’re transitioning to the point where everyone will be able to vacation with us while always working with our destination partners to meet their regulations. Starting Aug. 8, testing will be required for unvaccinated guests on all voyages and for vaccinated guests only on voyages that are six nights or longer.”
So if you are a guest sailing one of Royal Caribbean ships, including Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Silversea, you will not have to take a proctored COVID test and provide those results in order to board your cruise if your cruise is less than 5 days.
For now, all guests of RCC on cruises longer than 5 days still need to take a pre-cruise COVID test.
Jason Liberty may have provided a clue that the end of the vaccine mandates is coming as he noted: “This means that we’re transitioning to the point where everyone will be able to vacation with us. ”
This would be a huge step for cruising to take toward returning to normal. Until then, fully vaccinated of nearly all passengers with the exemption of children under the age of twelve and those with medical exemptions to cruise will be a requirement.