More good news for cruise enthusiasts as several lines just announced that the Covid test requirements prior to embarkation will be further reduced and some routes now accept even self-documented tests.
Passengers on several cruise lines will no longer have to present a certified, negative covid test unless the sailing originates from destinations where the law requires such tests to be performed.
Producing the tests often put a strain on people’s holiday plans as the Antigen test can only be a maximum of two days old (3 days for PCR) and most cruise passengers have to travel to their embarkation port from wherever they live, limiting the options of where this can be done depending on the itinerary.
The new policy is outlined by Celebrity Cruises (here) on Norwegian’s website (see here) and Holland America’s testing requirements (see here).
In case of Celebrity Cruises, passengers are also no longer required to be vaccinated unless mandated by local law.
Beginning September 5th, 2022, all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, can now cruise on the following itineraries as long as they meet any testing requirements to board:
– All sailings departing from the UK and Europe (with the exception of Iceland)
– All sailings departing from Los Angeles
For all other sailings, please visit the Country Travel Requirements page for the country of embarkation for your sailing for more information regarding vaccination age requirements.
Testing requirements themselves follow the same principle. Unless required by law, most cruise lines such as Celebrity no longer require certified tests.
The company has structured the documentation, vaccination and testing requirements by countries where most of the cruises originate:
Just as an example, here is the requirement for cruises out of Italy from September 5th:
Sailing Testing Requirements:
All guests ages 2 and older must present a negative COVID-19 test result to board their sailing. A negative test result from any commercially available test, including self-tests, will be accepted. Tests do not have to be monitored or proctored. Test results may be presented as a printout, screenshot or photo of the test result or the actual test.
Pre-Arrival/Embarkation Covid-19 Test
- Vaccinated Guests: Must test negative for COVID-19 within 2 days prior to sailing.
- Unvaccinated Guests: Must test negative for COVID-19 within 1 day of sailing.
PLEASE NOTE: For all sailings visiting Greece, self-tests will not be accepted and all guests must complete a supervised COVID-19 test prior to boarding. The test must be supervised by a health professional, such as a doctor, pharmacy technician, public health worker, or telehealth representative. While approved, supervised self-test kits are now readily available at drugstore chains in the U.S., we are also pleased to make them available for order pre-cruise below.
Keep in mind that these rules vary by destinations and cruise lines.
Passengers can now do their own test, take a picture or screenshot of the negative result and will be allowed to board. It’s basically a self-declaration and doesn’t even have to be a real test. Nobody is going to check if this is actually the test of the passenger of something downloaded from the internet or social media. Basically nothing but theatre.
We’ll see how these changes will resonate with passengers and how the new regulations are impacting the case numbers on board the ships. Furthermore, how will cruise lines adapt their treatment and quarantine protocols onboard if they essentially make it this easy to get on the ship without any of the established Covid safeguards. quite frankly. it’s about time that these measures were taken on as they’ve been in place for over a year now.
Many cruise lines have just announced further changes to Covid testing protocols, making it no longer necessary to present either vaccination or a certified Covid-negative test in order to board a cruise ship.
If passengers adapt well to these new rules is something that remains to be seen. When I follow the common cruise forums, there is a clear line between those who are clearly concerned and those who are really opposed to the draconian rules cruise lines have had in place ever since cruising resumed in the summer of 2021.
Do you agree with the new rules?