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Cruise Critic News: CDC: Vaccinated Cruise Passengers Won't Need to Complete PCR Tests


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(3 p.m. EDT) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have revealed that passengers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will not need to complete previously-outlined requirements for PCR testing at embarkation and disembarkation. That bodes well for fully vaccinated travellers looking to set sail from U.S. ports of call when ...

 

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44 minutes ago, LauraS said:

(3 p.m. EDT) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have revealed that passengers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will not need to complete previously-outlined requirements for PCR testing at embarkation and disembarkation. That bodes well for fully vaccinated travellers looking to set sail from U.S. ports of call when ...

 

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All along so many have been saying that the CDC has discriminated against cruise lines and treated them much worse than airlines. Now the article you have posted said that cruise passengers would not have to take PCR testing while those returning to the US by airplane still will. 

 

If we were to do the cruise we had booked for last summer, under these rules we would still have to be tested as the cruise was in Europe and we would be flying back. If we did a Caribbean cruise instead or an Alaskan cruise, we would still be flying home, but our disembarkation in the US would be from the ship, no required PCR test. At least that's how I am reading the article.

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13 hours ago, mom says said:

So does this mean that all of the Caribbean ports being visited by these ships have dropped their COVID testing requirements? 

 

Excellent point and probably highly unlikely.

 

The US CDC can reduce their requirements, but the ships must comply with the requirements of all countries visited. Cruise lines can also set standards higher than those required by the US CDC.

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6 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

 

Excellent point and probably highly unlikely.

 

The US CDC can reduce their requirements, but the ships must comply with the requirements of all countries visited. Cruise lines can also set standards higher than those required by the US CDC.

It will be interesting to see what the various islands do, but San Juan (a U.S. Territory) has already announced that fully vaccinated folks no longer need to be tested.  I suspect that many other islands that normally rely on ships for a major part of their economy will also change their rules so as to make ships welcome.  In Europe, Greece has already changed its entry requirements to eliminate any restrictions on cruise ships and the result is that Pireaus and the more popular islands will soon be full of cruise ships, cruisers, and their money.

 

Hank

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6 hours ago, Hlitner said:

It will be interesting to see what the various islands do, but San Juan (a U.S. Territory) has already announced that fully vaccinated folks no longer need to be tested.  I suspect that many other islands that normally rely on ships for a major part of their economy will also change their rules so as to make ships welcome.  In Europe, Greece has already changed its entry requirements to eliminate any restrictions on cruise ships and the result is that Pireaus and the more popular islands will soon be full of cruise ships, cruisers, and their money.

 

Hank

 

Yes, there will always be countries that relax the requirements quicker than others. One can only hope that they are considering the impact on their citizens and the public health care system. Interesting to note that as of yesterday, Greece has only vaccinated about 32% of population with at least 1-dose.

 

However, you also have others that are maintaining strict requirements. Although not in the Caribbean, Bermuda still requires a negative PCR test, but have relaxed the requirements from 3-days pre-arrival to 4-days. The negative test must be submitted to Bermuda to receive a Travel Authorisation before you can arrive in country.

 

In the Meddy, Malta has agreed a process where US citizens can board a cruise ship, even though the US is still on their Red List. Negative COVID test is required and pax must maintain a bubble from departure to arrival Malta. No stopovers are permitted enroute (can change planes, but not leave the airport), cannot arrive before day of cruise and cannot stay in Malta after cruise. On arrival at the airport, pax must go directly to the ship. Failure to comply will result in refusal to enter Malta, or if already arrived and not going directly to the ship, they will deny boarding.

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54 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

 

Yes, there will always be countries that relax the requirements quicker than others. One can only hope that they are considering the impact on their citizens and the public health care system. Interesting to note that as of yesterday, Greece has only vaccinated about 32% of population with at least 1-dose.

 

However, you also have others that are maintaining strict requirements. Although not in the Caribbean, Bermuda still requires a negative PCR test, but have relaxed the requirements from 3-days pre-arrival to 4-days. The negative test must be submitted to Bermuda to receive a Travel Authorisation before you can arrive in country.

 

In the Meddy, Malta has agreed a process where US citizens can board a cruise ship, even though the US is still on their Red List. Negative COVID test is required and pax must maintain a bubble from departure to arrival Malta. No stopovers are permitted enroute (can change planes, but not leave the airport), cannot arrive before day of cruise and cannot stay in Malta after cruise. On arrival at the airport, pax must go directly to the ship. Failure to comply will result in refusal to enter Malta, or if already arrived and not going directly to the ship, they will deny boarding.

I have been an outspoken fan of how the Greek Government has planned their opening.  Unlike some other countries, it seems that Greece thought through the pros and cons and option and found a solution that they think serves their economy as well as their health issues.  Their vaccination program is on a fast track with an emphasis on the various Greek Islands that represent the heart of their summer tourist industry.  Within the next month just about everyone on the islands that wants to be vaccinated will have gotten a vaccine.  Their government has also implemented a very vaccine-friendly policy which is simply based on the idea that fully vaccinated folks are safe from getting or spreading COVID.  Their government understands that fully vaccinated tourists are not a threat to their population just like their unvaccinated population is not a threat to the vaccinated tourists.    You also need to consider that tourism makes up 20% of their entire economy and a much higher percentage on many of the Greek Islands.  Trying to find an acceptable compromise solution makes more sense to me then some countries that prefer to maintain draconian restrictions/rules,

 

Hank

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5 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

In the Meddy, Malta has agreed a process where US citizens can board a cruise ship, even though the US is still on their Red List. Negative COVID test is required and pax must maintain a bubble from departure to arrival Malta. No stopovers are permitted enroute (can change planes, but not leave the airport), cannot arrive before day of cruise and cannot stay in Malta after cruise. On arrival at the airport, pax must go directly to the ship. Failure to comply will result in refusal to enter Malta, or if already arrived and not going directly to the ship, they will deny boarding.

That doesn't leave any room for flight delays, does it?

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On 5/24/2021 at 3:06 PM, LauraS said:

(3 p.m. EDT) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have revealed that passengers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will not need to complete previously-outlined requirements for PCR testing at embarkation and disembarkation. That bodes well for fully vaccinated travellers looking to set sail from U.S. ports of call when ...

 

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There are a lot of references to “fully vaccinated” people — but little detail.  Does simply  showing a piece of paper purporting to show vaccination count — or will some more fool-proof demonstration be involved? (Vaccine passport of some sort?)

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I am booked on a Greek Isle cruise on NCL out of Athens in October, but have some concerns about returning to the US. I saw an article from the CDC that airlines will require a negative Covid test no more than 3 days prior to returning to the US. I am flying into Athens 3 days prior to embarkation, but plan to head to the airport to fly home on debarkation day. Does anyone know if this is something I can get on the ship?

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2 hours ago, lhwaters said:

I am booked on a Greek Isle cruise on NCL out of Athens in October, but have some concerns about returning to the US. I saw an article from the CDC that airlines will require a negative Covid test no more than 3 days prior to returning to the US. I am flying into Athens 3 days prior to embarkation, but plan to head to the airport to fly home on debarkation day. Does anyone know if this is something I can get on the ship?

 

I suggest highly unlikely, but probably best to ask on the NCL Board. I have not heard of NCL installing PCR Labs onboard their ships.

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/64-norwegian-cruise-line/

 

Only cruise line with onboard labs and lab techs that I know of is Viking Ocean. 

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2 hours ago, lhwaters said:

I am booked on a Greek Isle cruise on NCL out of Athens in October, but have some concerns about returning to the US. I saw an article from the CDC that airlines will require a negative Covid test no more than 3 days prior to returning to the US. I am flying into Athens 3 days prior to embarkation, but plan to head to the airport to fly home on debarkation day. Does anyone know if this is something I can get on the ship?

So here is how it works (at least for now).  In order for you to fly back to the USA you will need a negative Antigen test (this is a pretty inexpensive rapid test that can deliver results in as little as 15 minutes) that has been performed within the 3 days prior to your flight.  Whether you will be able to get that on your ship is something you would need to ascertain with NCL.  If not, it is possible to get a rapid Antigen test right at ATH (Athens Airport) although you would probably be wise to plan on some extra time to get it done.  We will also be on a Greece cruise this summer and are spending some post cruise time island hopping.  We booked the airport Sofitel Hotel (within easy walking distance of the terminal building) for our last night, so we can simply walk over to the airport and pay for our antigen tests.  Another alternative is the newly approved "BinaxNow" test which you can buy online or at many pharmacies (including Walmart) and take with you on your trip.  As long as you have an Internet connection (WiFi or via phone) you can do this test yourself.   Google BinaxNow and you can read about it (this test is approved by the CDC for rentry to the USA).

 

Hank

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Thank you.  I did find something on the Athens Airport's website about getting a test.  I am not really sure how much time we will have before boarding the flight since we haven't received the detailed flight itinerary yet, but hopefully it will allow us to get a Rapid Test.  I probably will check into the BinaxNow that you mentioned, as I would really rather not wait until my arrival at the airport.  I really appreciate the info .

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3 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

 

I suggest highly unlikely, but probably best to ask on the NCL Board. I have not heard of NCL installing PCR Labs onboard their ships.

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/64-norwegian-cruise-line/

 

Only cruise line with onboard labs and lab techs that I know of is Viking Ocean. 

And Viking Venus, presently sailing with passengers out of the UK... she has a laboratory on board which can deal with 3,000 tests a day. 

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4 hours ago, jocap said:

And Viking Venus, presently sailing with passengers out of the UK... she has a laboratory on board which can deal with 3,000 tests a day. 

 

Affirmative, she is Viking Ocean's newest ship, having just completed her maiden voyage. They can test each pax & crew member daily with a non-invasive PCR test. On disembarkation they provide a signed test certificate.

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