Carnival Cruise Line has changed its COVID-19 pre-cruise testing requirements. The company updated the “Have Fun. Be Safe.” protocols on February 8, which now states that guests who have recently recovered from COVID-19 do not need to do the pre-cruise test. It’s a big change for cruising and one that shows a significant step towards a more normal cruise experience.
Carnival Changes Testing Requirements for Recovered Guests
Any guest who shows a recovery certificate that proves that the guest has recovered within the last three months and is at least ten days from their positive test result is now exempt from providing a negative test result before their cruise.
Carnival implemented the change today, February 8. That person should be symptom-free, and the document must be from a licensed healthcare provider or public health official.
The new statement on the website states: “Guests (either fully vaccinated or not) who have recovered from COVID-19 within three months of their sailing date, do not need the required pre-cruise COVID test before embarkation if they are at least ten days past their COVID-19 infection, have no symptoms and present documentation of recovery from COVID-19 from their healthcare provider.”
The recovery documentation from the health care provider should include, at a minimum, the name, address, and phone number of a licensed healthcare provider or public health official. The official should state in the letter that the individual has been cleared to end isolation, is at least ten days past their positive test result date, and is fit to travel.
The letter should also include the positive test date and personal details such as name and date of birth that match the passport or other travel documents. Guests that would like to take this route will need to go through secondary screening at the terminal, and boarding will be approved at the medical staff’s discretion.
Guests who have been fully vaccinated and do not have a recovery certificate still need to provide a negative test result from a test taken no more than two days before sailing. Unvaccinated guests will need to give a negative PCR-RT test which was taken at least three days before sailing and undergo a second antigen test before boarding.
Rules Apply To Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Guests
The new procedures for guests with recovery certificates apply to both vaccinated and unvaccinated guests. It means that guests who have not been vaccinated but have recovered can now cruise again, at least in the three months since they recovered.
Guests with families with kids who have recently recovered but who have not been vaccinated yet can also start planning their cruise. It’s also the first sign that policies are changing back to a more stable and normal situation.
Earlier today, Norwegian Cruise Line changed its onboard mask policies, making masks a recommendation effective March 1. Although Carnival Cruise Line has not yet taken this step, at a minimum, it has taken a small step now.
Whether more changes to the health guidelines onboard the Carnival Ships are coming is unclear at this point; however, with the Omicron variant slowly becoming less of an issue worldwide, it will hopefully not be long before we see more measures disappear.