Carnival drops exemption request for unvaxxed guests, eases testing policy

Carnival drops exemption request for unvaxxed guests, eases testing policy

Carnival Cruise Line is easing its testing requirements for vaccinated passengers and allowing unvaccinated guests to travel without an exemption. 

The cruise company will no longer demand testing for vaccinated passengers staying onboard for under 16 nights. Additionally, unvaccinated guests will no longer be required to file exemption requests.

“Carnival is pleased to announce new guidelines effective for cruises departing on Sept. 6, 2022, or later, which will make it easier for more guests to sail with simplified vaccination and testing guidelines, including no testing for vaccinated guests on sailings less than 16 nights and eliminating the exemption request process for unvaccinated guests, who will only need to show a negative test result at embarkation,” the company announced Saturday.

Vaccinated guests “must continue to provide evidence of their vaccination status prior to embarkation,” according to the new guidelines.

But unvaccinated passengers “are welcome to sail and are no longer required to apply for a vaccine exemption, except for cruises in Australia or on voyages 16 nights and longer.”

Unvaccinated passengers will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test from within three days of departure.

Cruises lasting more than 16 nights will continue to be subject to their own restrictions.

The cruise industry is sailing choppy waters yet again as it contends with a storm of labor problems, red-hot inflation and a threat of recession after barely steadying itself from the blows of an 18-month shutdown due to the pandemic.

The industry employs about 250,000 workers from over 100 countries, and their jobs range from a ship’s captain to a cocktail mixer, according to the Cruise Lines International Association.

Cruise operators, however, are still confident about the industry’s recovery in the longer term, although the strength of the summer sailing season, which typically accounts for a big chunk of operating income, is still under a cloud.

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