Royal Caribbean Group scraps Covid testing requirement for short cruises

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Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas.
Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas. Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean Group will drop pre-embarkation testing for cruises of five days or fewer for vaccinated passengers, starting Aug. 8. 

The new policy applies to all the cruise lines in the group: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity and Silversea.

"We also anticipate in the not-too-distant future that pre-embarkation testing for longer voyages will be reduced," said Royal Caribbean Group CEO Jason Liberty during the company's second-quarter earnings call on Thursday, adding that Royal plans to continue with most of its current Covid protocols. 

The change comes after the CDC ended its Covid-19 Program for Cruise Ships last week, ending requirements such as pre-cruise testing and reporting vaccination rates for cruise sailings in and out of the U.S. 

"Cruising has proven to be one of the safest environments anywhere," Liberty said. "After two years of successfully working with us, the CDC has transitioned from enforcing protocols and policies for the cruise industry, to suggestions and recommendations to be in line with the travel and tourism sector. That speaks to the great work we've done together as an industry."

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