On Monday, July 18, the Centers for Disease Control announced that it was ending the program that allowed cruise ships to report COVID-19 numbers onboard their ships voluntarily. The program was first introduced by the CDC in February as a replacement for another program that required ships to report their case numbers and provide documentation of those numbers. The program also required cruise ships to require Guests to provide documentation that they were either vaccinated against COVID-19 or had a recent negative COVID test.
Click Orlando shared more information on the CDC’s decision:
According to the CDC, new guidance for cruise ships in regards to mitigating and managing COVID-19 transmission will be issued in the coming days.
Guidelines under the previous program were established to align with health and safety protocols and lessen the introduction and spread of COVID-19.
This decision comes after CDC officials lowered the threshold for cruise ships to meet a “highly vaccinated” status two months ago. On May 6, the health agency said for ships to considered “highly vaccinated,” 90% of its passengers must be fully vaccinated while 95% of crew members must be fully vaccinated.
Even though the CDC has decided to end the voluntary program, each cruise line will still make its own decisions regarding how they handle vaccination and negative COVID testing for Guests. Disney Cruise Line has the following requirements for anyone sailing on one of their five cruise ships — the Disney Dream, the Disney Wonder, the Disney Fantasy, the Disney Magic, and the Disney Wish:
Currently, Disney Cruise Line continues to require all vaccine-eligible Guests (based on US eligibility requirements) to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at the time of sailing. This is a requirement for all Guests (US and international) ages 5 and older.
Fully vaccinated Guests on sailings departing US and Canadian ports must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result (paid for by the Guest) taken no more than 2 days before setting sail to be exempt from embarkation testing at the terminal. Guests ages 4 and under, who are not vaccine-eligible because of age, must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result (paid for by a parent or guardian) taken no more than 3 days before their sail date. Children ages 4 and under will also be required to complete a test at the terminal prior to embarkation (paid for by Disney Cruise Line).
If you are planning on setting sail on a Disney cruise, it is important that you check with the website regularly, and well in advance, to make sure you complete all the ship’s requirements before sailing. COVID protocols are also subject to change, so checking in on current sailing guidelines is always a good idea.