TRAVEL CHALLENGES – IN THE COVID 19 ERA
It is safe to say that in the era of covid 19, travel has become a bit more challenging. This article will give you the current rules as it applies to cruising.
The cruise industry is slowly getting it’s ships back up and running. At the time of this writing cruises are departing from Los Angeles, New York, Florida, Texas and even Baltimore. The full compliment of ships on any of the cruise lines are not fully up and running, but each cruise line has many cruise itineraries available. Here, then are the universal rules that all cruise lines have implemented to cruise.
First and foremost, everyone must be vaccinated to cruise. The only exemption that I am aware of is children under the age of 12. While medical or religious exemptions for everyone else may be entertained on a case by case basis, the cruise lines have been reluctant to issue exemptions. And request for exemptions must be supported from clergy or physicians.
Secondly, everyone must also get a covid test within two days of the cruise departure. Either a PCR or quicker antigen test appears to be acceptable, but you should check with your preferred cruise line when booking as to that cruise lines preferred test. Vaccine and testing rules have been changing frequently as the virus evolves for better or worse.
Mask wearing on board also varies by cruise line. However, it is safe to say that while indoors in common areas masks are required. The exception is dining facilities where masks are not required obviously while eating. But be prepared to wear masks in show lounges, atriums and indoor bars. While on the lido deck and in other outdoor spaces, the general rule has been that no mask is required.
Finally, while visiting ports of call, local covid compliance rules will apply. Announcements will be made during the cruise as you go from port to port. In fact, some ports are requiring only approved shore excursions when leaving the ship. The port call shore policies are probably the most evolving policies on almost a daily basis.
Remember these procedures are designed to keep you safe and healthy while cruising. For those of you participating in our upcoming “Bus to the Boat” cruises, we will keep you advised as to all updated policies. Please feel free to call us at 516-485-3200 if you have any questions