Norwegian Cruise help along and eliminates vaccine requirements for Covid-19

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings will end vaccine requirements for customers and relax its coronavirus testing rules next month, the company said on Monday.

Effective September 3, fully vaccinated passengers over the age of 12 will no longer need to be tested before boarding on Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Passengers in that age group who are unvaccinated or who do not show proof of vaccination will be allowed to board the plane 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 may 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 the ages of 2 and 11 will still need to show a negative test (antigen if vaccinated, PCR if unvaccinated) 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 abandoning 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,” continuing testing on ships in U.S. waters as the company accepted standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention diseases. 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 be tested for coronavirus no more than three days before the cruise, regardless of vaccination status.