Cruise Lines Urge CDC to Lift PreCruise Test

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Recently, the CDC lifted the testing requirement for travelers who are coming to the United States to have a negative COVID-19 or proof of recovery within the past 90 days. The CDC will reassess in 90 days and may reinstate as needed as per NPR. The administration has stated that this lift is due to the availability of vaccines and treatment for COVID-19. The CDC still recommends taking a test, but it is no longer mandatory.

According to Cruise Critic, the Cruise industry has lobbied for the removal of re-entry COVID-19 testing for months. They cited that booking for European cruises have slowed because Americans were stressed at the notion of having to test to come back, coming back positive, and then having to quarantine in a foreign country.

Cruise Critic cited Zane Kirby, President and CEO of ASTA (American Society of Travel Advisors) saying, “We are thrilled to see the end of the CDC’s inbound testing rule, which has been standing in the way of our industry’s recovery for too long. We commend the Biden Administration for taking this long-overdue step and thank ASTA members across the country for their hard work in helping get this across the finish line. While plenty of challenges remain in terms of rebuilding the travel agency business, today is a great day.”

However, pre-embarkation testing still exists in the cruise industry with guests having to take COVID-19 tests and providing negative results before their cruise. Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), has stated that they are calling for an end to these tests before cruising.

Cruise Critic quotes CLIA as saying, “As the CDC monitors the improving health landscape and works with airlines to support a smooth transition with the lifting of the pre-arrival testing requirement, we believe a review of pre-embarkation testing requirements for cruise travelers is also in order. Of the 79 million international visitors who traveled to the United States in 2019, approximately 2.5 million came to embark on a cruise holiday and generated $4.5 billion in spending to the U.S. economy. The decision announced today is a strong step forward in easing restrictions so that the cruise industry can continue to contribute to the rebounding of the U.S. economy.”

Testing for COVID-19 before a cruise causes a lot of stress for travelers. Most cruise lines allow guests to test at home with approved tests and an online proctor or guests can go to a testing site and await their results. Most cruise lines also require for guests to be fully vaccinated and boosted to cruise with some exceptions including children under 5 who are not eligible for a vaccine.

Getting back to normal is the goal. It seems that things as far as traveling and testing are trending in that direction.

Have you had to test before a cruise? Let us know about it in the comments.


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