Norwegian Cruise ends COVID-19 testing, vaccine requirements – Orlando Sentinel

No more proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests will be required for Norwegian Cruise Line as of Tuesday.

The line announced in a press release Monday it had updated its health protocols removing all testing, masking and vaccination requirements citing “significant, positive progress in the public health environment.’

“Health and safety are always our first priority; in fact, we were the health and safety leaders from the very start of the pandemic,” said President and CEO Harry Sommer in the release. “Many travelers have been patiently waiting to take their long-awaited vacation at sea, and we cannot wait to celebrate their return.”

While those limitations are off of the ship, the line must still follow the requirements of the port cities it visits, which vary by country.

The line is the first among major brands to remove the protections that rolled out after COVID-19 shut down the industry in spring 2022. Cruises from the U.S. were on hold for nearly a year and half with the first vessels sailing in summer 2021.

Lines began relaxing testing and vaccine requirements this past July when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s cruise guidance program including the color-coded system that determined to what level COVID-19 was present on vessels was shut down.

The industry worked with the CDC to develop dozens of safety measures during its shutdown in an effort to get cruise lines back up and running, and out from under a no-sail order from the CDC.

The cruise line sails ships out of Port Canaveral, PortMiami and the Port of Tampa with its new ship Norwegian Prima coming to Florida to sail out of both Miami and Port Canaveral this fall.