American based Disney Cruise Line made an official announcement on August 15, 2022 that it is dropping off its vaccination requirement for the children who are under the age of 12 years. Starting from September 2, 2022 the passengers between the age of 5 to 11 years leaving from the United States and Canadian ports will not require the COVID-19 vaccinations. Earlier the cruises had made it mandatory for the children to be fully vaccinated.
The Food and Drug Administration has authorized the COVID-19 vaccines for children who are as young as 6 months. But the cruise line had not extended the vaccine requirement to the youngest children. With the change effective the vaccination will continue to be required for the guests who are 12 years or older. The cruise line has noted that vaccinations are required for the younger travellers. The website of Disney Cruise Line reads that it is considering the CDC guidelines and has recommended that the Disney Cruise Line highly recommends that the guests aged 11 or younger need to be fully vaccinated for sailing.
On the other hand COVID-19 testing will be required for all the passengers and there would be different requirements for vaccinated as well as unvaccinated travellers. The guests who are fully vaccinated and provide a negative COVID-19 test report which is taken one or two days before sailing would be exempted from testing at the terminal. The passengers who are not fully vaccinated and do not provide a negative COVID-19 test report will have to undergo the COVID-19 test at the cruise terminal and will also be charged for it.
Meanwhile it has to be noticed that Disney Cruise Line is not the only cruise that is loosening its rules for vaccination. Some of the cruises including Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean have also eased their respective rules regarding COVID-19. The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has said that it will continue to give testing recommendations for the cruises, which will have to continue to report the COVID cases to the agency.
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