Royal Caribbean is adding a new requirement for sailings from the United States that will require proof of a negative Covid-19 test result in order to sail.
With increasing Covid-19 case counts around the country, Royal Caribbean has announced the policy change "in an abundance of caution".
All guests over the age of 2 will be required to provide a negative Covid-19 test, regardless of vaccine status, prior to boarding on sailings 5-night or longer.
The new policy is effective for all U.S. sailings between July 31 and August 31.
The test must be administered no more than three days prior to sailing and proof of negative results must be shown at check-in. Either PCR or antigen tests are acceptable.
The results can be printed out, or can be presented on your phone, such as the email result from your test provider. Costs associated with this test are the guests' responsibility.
There are no other changes to requirements and policies previously announced by Royal Caribbean.
In a statement by the cruise line, the change is being done as a precaution, "This is an additional layer of precaution to ensure the safety of everyone onboard. We will continue to monitor public health circumstances as they evolve and make necessary adjustments to our protocols."
Here is a copy of the full statement Royal Caribbean made:
In an abundance of caution, and to ensure that our guests, crew and the communities we visit remain healthy we are requiring all guests over the age of 2, regardless of vaccine status, to provide a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding on sailings 5-night or longer. This new policy is for all sailings in the U.S. from July 31 to August 31. The test must be administered no more than three days prior to sailing and proof of negative results must be shown at check-in.
All other testing requirements and policies are still in place. This is an additional layer of precaution to ensure the safety of everyone onboard. We will continue to monitor public health circumstances as they evolve and make necessary adjustments to our protocols.
Prior to this change, unvaccinated passengers were required to get multiple Covid-19 tests, but not vaccinated passengers.
Unvaccinated passengers were required to get tested at the terminal prior to embarkation and onboard prior to disembarkation.
Royal Caribbean requires negative test results for passengers sailing on Adventure of the Seas from Nassau, Bahamas, but this is the first time since sailings restarted that a test result for all passengers has been implemented in the United States.
For at least cruises on sailings this weekend, there may be a short-term option to get tested near the cruise port.
Guests sailing on Odyssey of the Seas for the July 31st sailing will have an option to show up to the port and get off-site testing completed nearby. It is not clear which other sailings will have this opportunity as well.
The cruise industry is not the only business making changes to ensure the safety of their customers.
Walt Disney World announced this week it would require face masks again for its customers while indoors, and Lollapalooza will require either proof of vaccination or a negative test for the viral infection within the past three days.