These cruise lines are easing pre-travel COVID testing requirements

Carnival Cruise Line’s Elation leaves Port Canaveral, in Cape Canaveral, Florida, Dec. 26, 2021. Royal Caribbean, Carnival and MSC cruise lines will be easing their pre-travel COVID-19 testing requirements for passengers starting this month.

Carnival Cruise Line’s Elation leaves Port Canaveral, in Cape Canaveral, Florida, Dec. 26, 2021. Royal Caribbean, Carnival and MSC cruise lines will be easing their pre-travel COVID-19 testing requirements for passengers starting this month. (Chuck Wing, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Royal Caribbean, Carnival and MSC cruise lines will be easing their pre-travel COVID-19 testing requirements for passengers starting this month.

Carnival announced that vaccinated guests on cruises five days or less will no longer have to receive a negative COVID-19 test before departure. Vaccinated travelers on cruises six days or longer will have to test within three days of their departure.

Unvaccinated guests still must provide proof of a negative lab-administered or supervised self-administered antigen COVID test taken three days before.

Carnival travelers headed to Canada or Bermuda will still have to take a COVID-19 test 72 hours before departure or a rapid antigen test two days before.

Starting Aug. 8, Royal Caribbean will also remove its testing requirement for vaccinated guests on cruises five days or less. Unvaccinated travelers and vaccinated travelers on cruises six days or longer will be required to get tested.

In most cases, the company requires guests to be vaccinated, but Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean, wrote on Facebook that unvaccinated guests 12 years and older can board Royal Caribbean cruises with a certificate of recovery within 90 days. He added the company typically sails with 80% or more of passengers being vaccinated.

MSC Cruises will also be removing pre-travel testing for vaccinated travelers on cruises five days and less out of U.S. ports, according to Travel + Leisure.

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stopped publicly reporting COVID-19 cases on cruise ships while cruise lines will still report cases to the CDC.

The CDC currently recommends that those traveling on a cruise get testing before, even if it isn't required by the cruise line.

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Carlene Coombs

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