Disney Cruise Ship Company Drops COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for Children

Disney Cruise Ship Company Drops COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for Children
The Disney cruise ship Fantasy arrives at Port Canaveral, Fla., on March 7, 2012. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)
Jack Phillips

Disney Cruise Line said it is dropping its COVID-19 vaccine requirement for children aged 5 to 11 for trips departing Canada and the United States.

The company previously required all passengers aged 5 and older to be fully vaccinated before departing.

The firm said in an Aug. 15 update on its website that starting Sept. 2, "Disney Cruise Line will require Guests ages 12 and older to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at the time of sailing."

Fully vaccinated individuals must show a negative COVID-19 test result taken one to two days before departure, the company said. Otherwise, they will have to undergo testing at the cruise terminal before departing.

People who are not fully vaccinated must provide proof of a negative test taken between one and three days before departure. They will have to return a second negative test taken at the terminal on the day of departure, according to the firm.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ended some of its recommendations around COVID-19, noting that the vast majority of people have either had prior infection, been vaccinated, or both.  The updated guidelines from the CDC, released last week, gave unvaccinated people much of the same treatment as vaccinated people.

Other Cruise Lines

Royal Caribbean confirmed that it will allow all passengers, regardless of vaccination status, on its ships in certain locations. A spokesperson for the company said that starting Sept. 5 it will drop its COVID-19 vaccine requirements “as long as testing requirements are met.”

“We are collaborating with local governments throughout the Caribbean to align on vaccination requirements for additional itineraries,” the spokesperson told USA Today. On its website, Royal Caribbean said that now, “COVID-19 vaccination is not required for sailings departing from home ports in California, Louisiana, or Texas.”

The company had required guests aged 12 and older to show proof of vaccination before they could get on ships in North America.

Similarly, Carnival Cruise Line is easing COVID-19 testing requirements for vaccinated passengers and allowing unvaccinated people to travel without an exemption.

“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,” Carnival said in a statement.

After vaccines were rolled out en masse, cruise lines have issued mandates that everyone on board be vaccinated, although there have been numerous cases where ships reported that dozens of people on board had contracted COVID-19 this year.

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: https://twitter.com/jackphillips5
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