Royal Caribbean Makes Vaccines Optional for Cruise Ship Passengers

a microscope with a vial marked covid-19 vaccine in front of a world pandemic impact map

Royal Caribbean International announced Friday, due to a change in policy, customers will now have the choice whether or not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before setting sail.

“Guests are strongly recommended to set sail fully vaccinated, if they are eligible,” the company said, according to The Hill. “Those who are unvaccinated or unable to verify vaccination will be required to undergo testing and follow other protocols, which will be announced at a later date.”

The move comes after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that would fine companies $5,000 each time they ask customers if they are vaccinated against COVID-19.

“We also thank Gov. DeSantis of Florida, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Broward County Mayor Steve Geller, and Chairman of the Canaveral Port Authority board Wayne Justice, and board commissioners for their steadfast support of our industry and for providing access to vaccines to the thousands of crew on our ships off the eastern seaboard,” the company’s CEO Michael Bayley said in the announcement.

“This act of understanding and humanity has been deeply appreciated, and we are grateful for their support, which is enabling the health and safety of our guests, crew members and the communities we visit,” Bayley added.

The company will begin “test cruises” in June under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.

The announcement listed cruises approved but are still pending approval from the CDC to pass test cruises.

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.