Carnival Cruise Line announced today, July 29, that it will waive all pre-cruise testing requirements for vaccinated passengers on short cruises of 5 nights or less, effective August 4. The cruise line will introduce further changes in phases.
Carnival will also change the length of time customers will need to be tested on cruises longer than five nights and has introduced much less stringent measures for unvaccinated customers.
Carnival Cruise Line introduces new testing requirements
With most major cruise lines having already made changes to their testing requirements as a result of the end of CDC requirements for the cruise industrya lot of people were waiting to see what Carnival Cruise Line was going to do.
Carnival has announced a series of changes that will be introduced in the weeks and months to come. The most crucial difference is that passengers will no longer need to be tested if sailing on short cruise itineraries of 5 nights or less, starting August 4, 2022.
The policy change has long come from the cruise line, which recently said it would not make any sudden changes after the CDC’s voluntary program for cruise ships ends. However, with Royal Caribbean making significant changes to its policies on July 28, Carnival Cruise Line couldn’t hold back.
In a statement posted on the Carnival Cruise Line website, the company said the following: “Carnival Cruise Line is pleased to announce that we are adjusting certain protocols to reflect the lifting of CDC requirements for the U.S. cruise industry. We remain, as always, committed to the health and safety of our guests, our crew and the communities we serve.”
“These changes will be made in phases, with the first of these updates taking effect on Thursday August 4, 2022 and focusing on short cruise itineraries of 5 nights or less. Further changes will be announced shortly, and all changes are subject to destination requirements on the itinerary.
Carnival’s new testing policies explained
Beginning August 4, passengers sailing on cruises of five nights or less will not need to undergo pre-cruise testing, provided they have been fully vaccinated.
Passengers sailing on cruises of six nights and longer will still need to undergo testing, but Carnival Cruise Line has extended the time in which this must be done to three days before the cruise departs.
There will be no more terminal testing for customers who have not been fully vaccinated. Nonetheless, all unvaccinated guests, two years of age and older, must provide proof of a negative result from a laboratory-administered or supervised self-administered COVID antigen test performed within three days of boarding.
This means customers no longer need to provide a negative PCR test; instead, an antigen test will be sufficient. This change will have a huge impact on families traveling with unvaccinated children, particularly due to the expensive nature of PCR testing.
Also read: First Cruise Line removes testing for US homeports
The cruise line is also talking about introducing other changes in the future. This could mean the cruise line would consider dropping all testing requirements and possibly even vaccination mandates.
Although it may seem far-fetched, Royal Caribbean insinuated the same thing yesterdaysaying he was working on a plan where all the guests could sail.
No matter what the future holds, the protocol changes introduced will be welcomed by the thousands of guests who sail aboard Carnival cruise ships each week, but who have faced the stress of finding and enduring a appropriate test only two days before departure.