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Royal Caribbean announced it would now require all passengers scheduled to sail from the United States to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
According to the cruise line's official website, Royal Caribbean revealed the changes were made "in an abundance of caution" as coronavirus cases in the U.S. have spiked due to the more dangerous and transmittable Delta variant.
The new policies go into effect July 31 and run through August 31, with all passengers over two years old required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before sailing on itineraries of five days or longer, regardless of vaccine status.
While both PCR or antigen tests will be accepted, the proof of a negative coronavirus must be shown at check-in and taken no less than three days before sailing. The cost of testing will be the responsibility of passengers.
"This is an additional layer of precaution to ensure the safety of everyone onboard," Royal Caribbean said on its website. "We will continue to monitor public health circumstances as they evolve and make necessary adjustments to our protocols."
Last week, big-ship cruising returned to Alaska as Royal Caribbean International's Serenade of the Seas departed from Seattle on its first Alaska cruise since September 2019. Around 97 percent of the people on board were fully vaccinated.
Royal Caribbean Group CEO Richard Fain also released another video recently for travel advisors discussing the continued COVID-19 outbreak and how the cruise company is keeping guests and crew members safe.
Donald Wood is TravelPulse’s senior writer in the breaking news department, bringing nearly 15 years of experience to the desk....
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