Princess Cruises has announced that it will require vaccinated guests to complete a coronavirus PCR or antigen test before sailing.
“Effective with cruises departing on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021, we will require all fully vaccinated guests to present a negative viral COVID-19 test (medically supervised PCR or antigen test) taken within three days of their embarkation on all Princess Cruises sailings,” the cruise line wrote in its letter to passengers.
According to the letter, fully vaccinated guests will be required to provide proof of this negative COVID-19 test, along with proof of full vaccination at least 14 days prior to embarkation, upon arrival in the terminal and can then proceed onboard.
Testing facilities won’t be available at the terminal, so any passengers who have not done the test in advance will not be able to board their cruise ship, Princess said.
The cruise line called these measures temporary and a response to “the increasing number of cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. caused by the Delta variant.”
“(W)e will continue to adjust our protocols based on the advice of our medical and public health advisors,” Princess Cruises wrote.
In addition to testing requirements, Princess’ onboard mask policy has been updated.
All guests will be “strongly encouraged” to wear face masks when indoors and required to wear face masks in elevators and in designated indoor entertainment areas, all retail shops, and in the casino, except when eating or drinking.
Guests will also have to wear face masks prior to being seated in all dining areas. Princess said that it also reserves the right to ask passengers to wear a mask in other designated areas where larger numbers of guests may congregate.
As previously, masks are required during embarkation and debarkation in the terminal and must also be worn during the debarkation process onboard. Bandanas, neck gaiters and masks with exhaust valves will not be accepted as a substitute for a face mask and visors and face shields are only permitted when used in addition to a mask, Princess said.
Several cruising destinations have their own requirements in place, which all guests will be required to follow during visits, Princess added.