Carnival Cruise Line updates COVID testing requirements for fully vaccinated guests

New policy takes effect Sept. 13

ORLANDO, Fla. – Carnival Cruise Lines has released new testing requirements Thursday for fully vaccinated guests.

The company said effective Sept. 13., vaccinated guests will be required to get tested for COVID-19 within two days prior to the sailing date. If the sailing is on Saturday, the test may be taken on Thursday or Friday, and as late as Saturday, if you are guaranteed to receive your results in time for check-in, the company said.

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In addition to the new testing requirement for fully vaccinated passengers, the company said it’s also expanding mask requirements to all guests in indoor settings and in more enclosed spaces where people congregate onboard.

“In an abundance of caution and in response to the increasing number of cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. caused by the Delta variant, we are updating our protocols and requirements regarding pre-cruise testing for fully vaccinated guests and our onboard mask policy,” the company said online.

Carnival said guests are strongly encouraged to review their vaccination records and ensure they meet company standards as well as have proof of their negative COVID-19 test result prior to traveling to the cruise terminal to prevent a situation where they may not be able to cruise or be eligible for a refund.

“We realize some of our guests are having a challenge getting a pre-cruise COVID-19 test, especially with the new two-day window established by the CDC that goes into effect on September 13, 2021. We are working to set up mobile testing sites at all our embarkation homeports to conduct a rapid test the day before or day of your departure,” the company said on its website.

Unvaccinated guests must still present a negative test at the cruise terminal – plus, they’re tested before they step on board. If the trip is longer than four days, they’re tested again. Unvaccinated guests are also not allowed to go ashore in the ports of call on their own and must have travel insurance coverage during check-in.

Carnival Cruise Line said its “Have Fun. Be Safe.” protocols and procedures have been developed in consultation with medical experts and are designed to be effective and adaptable as the current public health situation evolves. Carnival said it will continue to operate vaccinated cruises as defined by the CDC, including having its crew fully vaccinated. By doing so, Carnival said it’s able to provide the optimal guest experience while at the same time protecting the health and safety of its guests, crew and the communities they visit.

The company said until further notice, all of its operations will meet this standard.

Click here to learn more about the Carnival’s updated health and safety protocols.

About the Author:

Landon joined News 6 in 2017. He grew up in Southern Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelors degree in TV and digital media. When he is not at work you can catch him at one of Orlando's theme parks or the beach. Before working at News 6 he worked for stations in Miami and Fort Myers.