Home Travel Updated COVID Protocols For Cruise Ships & The Caribbean (August, 2022)

Updated COVID Protocols For Cruise Ships & The Caribbean (August, 2022)

by SharonKurheg

Although COVID continues to be spread very easily, it’s significantly less of a mortal threat right now than it was 2 years ago. The most current variant, Omicron BA.5, usually only makes people feel as if they have anywhere between a mild cold to a bad flu, and there are anti-virals to help ease symptoms and quicken recovery. The tens of thousands who get “really” sick from it and need hospitalization, as well as the hundreds per day who die from Omicron tend to be unvaccinated, elderly, and/or who have underlying medical conditions.

The world is learning to live with this less lethal but more contagious variant of COVID, and various entities change their rules on a sliding scale. Some are probably making changes that aren’t nearly as safe as what you would prefer. Or you may think that any and all restrictions for this “plandemic” are ridiculous. Or maybe your thoughts are somewhere in between the two. It’s definitely a Your Mileage May Vary situation, but it is what it is.

Our close neighbors, the islands in the Caribbean, and, even more so, cruise lines that serve the U.S., have both made changes in their COVID protocols in response to Omicron. Although they’re bound to change again in the future, these are the most recent updates, as of Friday, July 29th:

Caribbean

(scroll further down for cruises)

Anguilla

Only vaccinated people can visit. Travelers must present proof of vaccination status, as well as a negative PCR test result taken within three days of travel or a rapid antigen test done within two days of travel. Travelers who have been vaccinated for more than six months prior to travel but have not had a booster dose must be tested upon arrival, at their own expense ($50). Unvaccinated minors under age 5 must be accompanied by fully vaccinated travelers.
Note: Effective August 8th, Anguilla will drop their pre-arrival testing requirements for vaccinated travelers. Also effective August 8th, unvaccinated travelers will be able to enter the country. However they will have to present a negative PCR test taken within three days of arrival.

Antigua & Barbados

Only vaccinated people can visit. No pre-entry testing is required. Unvaccinated minors (5-18) must present a negative PCR test result done within four days of arrival. Children under 5 do not require any test.

Aruba

No proof of vaccination or testing required to enter. Travelers need to complete Aruba’s Embarkation/Debarkation Card and answer questions about their recent health. Aruba requires the purchase of visitor insurance as part of the arrival form.

Bahamas

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers are welcome. Vaccinated travelers need to show their proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated travelers age 2+ have to show proof of RT-PCR test taken within three days of arrival.

Barbados

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers are welcome. Vaccinated travelers don’t need to show proof of COVID testing but must download the country’s BMI Safe app and complete travel form with vaccination proof within 24 hours of arrival. Those who are unvaccinated must produce a negative PCR or antigen test that was completed within three days of arrival and download the BMI Safe app. They also must be tested on arrival. If they’re positive, they must quarantine until a negative result is obtained. Unvaccinated travelers under 18 are allowed to enter the country if accompanied by vaccinated parents/guardians; travelers under 5 don’t need to be tested.

Bermuda

Only vaccinated people can visit. Visitors age 2+ must provide proof of vaccination, negative antigen result taken within two days of arrival or PCR result within four days of arrival. This information must be uploaded to traveler authorization form 24 to 48 hours before arrival; the fee is $40.

Bonaire

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers are welcome and no COVID testing or quarantine is required. Travelers must fill out a health declaration form 12 to 24 hours before departure, print the form and keep in hand luggage in case a public health officer asks to see it. Parents must fill out the forms for their children, as well.

British Virgin Islands

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers are welcome and no COVID testing or quarantine is required.

Cayman Islands

Both vaccinated and select unvaccinated travelers are welcome. Vaccinated travelers need to upload their information to the country’s travel portal. Unvaccinated travelers 12 and over can’t enter the country unless they have close ties to Cayman residents. No entry tests are required, but the unvaccinated must quarantine for seven days. Children under 12 can travel with their vaccinated adults.

Cuba

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers are welcome and no COVID testing is required. Travelers may be subject to random testing. If they test positive, they must quarantine in a government facility or hospital for 14 days, at their own expense. Children under 13 are exempt from vaccination and PCR tests.

Curacao

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers are welcome and no COVID testing or quarantine is required. Travelers must complete the country’s digital immigration card online prior to departure and fill out the passenger locator card within 48 hours of departure. Once the passenger locator card is received via email, travelers should bring digital or printed copy with them.

Donimica

Both vaccinated and select unvaccinated travelers are welcome. Vaccinated travelers must show proof of vaccination prior to boarding flight to Dominica and upon arrival. No pre-arrival form or pre-testing required. Unvaccinated travelers must show results of a PCR test result taken within 72 hours of arrival or rapid antigen test from certified facility within 48 hours of arrival. Travelers under 13 will assume the status of their parents or guardians.

Dominican Republic

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers are welcome and no COVID testing or quarantine is required. Travelers ages 18+ have to fill out the Electoral Ticket portal required for entry and exit within 72 hours of arrival. Information for up to six family members can be included on one application.Two QR codes will be generated, one for entry, one for exit. There is a brief health screening upon arrival on passengers selected at random.

Grenada

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers are welcome and no COVID testing or quarantine is required.

Guadeloupe

Both vaccinated and select unvaccinated travelers are welcome. Vaccinated travelers age 12+ must present proof of vaccination and negative RT-PCR test result taken within 24 hours of arrival. Unvaccinated travelers age 12+ must justify the visit (i.e. a emergency health reason or to render professional services. They also must provide a negative RT-PCR test result taken within 24 hours of arrival. Children under 12 don’t need to be vaccinated if accompanied by a vaccinated adult.

Haiti

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers are welcome. All travelers age 2+ must provide a negative Covid-19 antigen test taken within one day before departure to Haiti, regardless of vaccination status. No quarantine required on arrival.

Jamaica

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers are welcome and no COVID testing or quarantine is required.

Martinique

Both vaccinated and select unvaccinated travelers are welcome. Vaccinated travelers must show proof of vaccination and a PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding or an antigen test taken within 48 hours of boarding. Unvaccinated travelers must have an “overriding” personal or professional reason & documentation of said reason, a PCR test, and quarantine on arrival are all required. Children under age 12 & traveling with a vaccinated adult are exempt from vaccination requirements.

Montserrat

Only vaccinated people can visit. They must show proof of a negative PCR test taken within three days prior to entry, answer health questions and test upon arrival ($56 out of pocket). If positive, visitors must quarantine for 10 days and test on Day 8. Children age 5+ must also follow the same instructions as above. Children age 4 and under are exempt from pre-entry test requirements.

Puerto Rico

Domestic travelers can visit with or without vaccinations. International travelers are not required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result upon entry. However, international travelers who are neither U.S. citizens nor permanent residents must still present proof of vaccination.

Saba & St. Eustatius

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers are welcome and no COVID testing or quarantine is required. For travelers entering through St. Maarten, the St. Maarten EHAS entry rules still apply and an Electronic Health Authorization System form is mandatory when in transit.

St. Barts

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers are welcome. Vaccinated travelers age 18+, as well as those age 12-17 and traveling alone must show proof of vaccination. No pre-arrival test required. Unvaccinated visitors must show proof of a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours or an antigen test result done within 48 hours of flight departure. Unvaccinated children age 5+ must present a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours or an antigen test result done within 48 hours of flight departure. If connecting through St. Maarten, complete pre-arrival Electronic Health Authorization System form within 72 hours of arrival in St. Maarten (required in both directions).

St. Kitts & Nevis

Only vaccinated people can visit. They must complete a  travel authorization form (the form must be submitted no later than 24 hours prior to travel) and include proof of vaccination, as well as a negative RT-PCR test result taken within 72 hours of travel or a rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of travel. They also must book at travel-approved accommodations on St. Kitts and Nevis. Children 17 and under traveling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians must have a negative RT-PCR test.

St. Lucia

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers are welcome. Vaccinated travelers must bring proof of vaccination to check-in, boarding and entry to St. Lucia. No pre-entry Covid test or online pre-registration required. Unvaccinated travelers age 5+ must submit results of a negative PCR test within five days of travel and are required to stay in Covid-certified accommodations for the duration of their visit. Unvaccinated children ages 5 to 17 traveling with vaccinated family members must be tested on arrival and remain in quarantine until negative test result is received.

St. Maartin

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers are welcome. No test result are required for entry for those vaccinated and those who have recovered from Covid in the past nine months. Unvaccinated travelers must provide results of a negative PCR test result taken 48 hours prior to arrival or an antigen test taken 24 hours before arrival. Children age 5+ who aren’t fully vaccinated must show results of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours of arrival.
Note: Completion of their pre-arrival Electronic Health Authorization System form is required for all travelers and must be submitted within 72 hours of arrival. Vaccinated travelers filling out the EHAS form will receive immediate pre-approval once the form is filled out in its entirety.
Note: St. Maarten SXM Protection Plan insurance is mandatory for all travelers and rates vary depending upon the traveler’s age. The insurance plan covers hospital costs, ICU costs, doctor consultation, Covid tests and medical evacuation, if necessary.

St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers are welcome. Vaccinated travelers must fill out the country’s pre-arrival form, show proof of vaccination and results of rapid antigen test result taken within 24 hours of arrival or PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival. No test or quarantine on arrival. Unvaccinated travelers must show proof of a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours of arrival, may be retested upon arrival and must quarantine for 5 days in a Tourism Approved/Ministry of Health approved accommodation at their own expense and may be retested during quarantine.

Turks & Caicos

Only vaccinated people can visit. Proof of vaccination is required. Unvaccinated children under 16 accompanied by vaccinated family members are allowed to enter.

Trinidad & Tobago

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers are welcome. Vaccinated travelers must show proof of vaccination upon arrival. Unvaccinated travelers must show proof of a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 48 hours of arrival. Children age 16+ must follow protocols of vaccinated travelers; age 15 and under traveling with vaccinated adults are exempt from pre-arrival testing.

U.S. Virgin Islands

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers are welcome. Vaccinated travelers must show proof of vaccination upon arrival.  Unvaccinated visitors age 5+ must present a negative antigen or PCR test result taken within five days of arrival.

Major Cruise Lines (Departing From The U.S.)

Carnival

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated cruisers are welcome. Beginning August 14, they will no longer require pre-cruise testing for those who have been vaccinated on its sailings of five days or less. They will still require pre-cruise testing for sailings six nights or longer, but it can be conducted within three days of departure. The line will no longer provide in-terminal testing for unvaccinated guests on the day of departure, and all unvaccinated guests ages 2 and older must provide proof of a negative result for either a lab-administered or supervised self-administered antigen COVID test, also within three days before embarkation.

Celebrity

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated cruisers are welcome. As of Aug. 8, testing for vaccinated passengers will only be required on trips of six nights or longer; unvaccinated guests will need to test before all sailings. They say they will be, “Maintaining a high percentage of fully vaccinated guests onboard all our sailings, far above the general population” but did not specify what the percentage would be (the CDC’s recommendation is 90% vaccinated).

Disney

All guests age 5+ must be fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated Guests on sailings departing US and Canadian ports must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result (paid for by the Guest) taken no more than 2 days before setting sail to be exempt from embarkation testing at the terminal. Guests ages 4 and under must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result (paid for by a parent or guardian) taken no more than 3 days before their sail date. Children ages 4 and under will also be required to complete a test at the terminal prior to embarkation (paid for by Disney Cruise Line).

Holland America

All guests age 12+ must be fully vaccinated and provide a negative, medically observed COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of embarkation. Children under 5 years of age do not need to be vaccinated. Children between 5-11 years of age may be unvaccinated but will need to go through an exemption process.

MSC

All guests age 12+ must be fully vaccinated and submit a negative test at embarkation before boarding. All children (2 years and older) independent of vaccination status must submit a negative test as well.

Norwegian

All guests age 12+ must be fully vaccinated. All of these guests, as well as unvaccinated guests age 2-11 must also must provide either a negative COVID-19 antigen test result administered by a verified third party within two days of the embarkation date, or an NAAT test (i.e. PCR) administered by a verified third party within three days of embarkation date, or a COVID-19 Recovery Certificate* (*see Norwegian’s link for details). Unvaccinated guests age 2-11 must also take an additional antigen testing at embarkation and disembarkation administered and paid for by NCL. Guests under age 2 do not need to be tested.

Princess

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated cruisers are welcome, although they will only allow 10% of their cruisers to be unvaccinated.Fully vaccinated cruises age 5+ must show proof of an antigen test taken within 2 days, or a PCR test taken within 3 days of sailing. Unvaccinated cruisers must show proof of a PCR test taken within 3 days of sailing, and must take an antigen test at the terminal just prior to sailing.

Regent Seven Seas

All guests must be fully vaccinated and show proof of same (original card, not an electronic copy) prior to embarkation. All guests are required to complete a COVID-19 PCR or Antigen test from a lab or pharmacy within 48 hours of arriving to the terminal. All guests will undergo pre-embarkation health screening including an enhanced health questionnaire and touchless temperature check.

Royal Caribbean

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated cruisers are welcome. As of Aug. 8, testing for vaccinated passengers will only be required on trips of six nights or longer; unvaccinated guests will need to test before all sailings. They say they will be, “Maintaining a high percentage of fully vaccinated guests onboard all our sailings, far above the general population” but did not specify what the percentage would be (the CDC’s recommendation is 90% vaccinated).

Viking

All guests must be fully vaccinated and may be asked to show proof of same prior to embarkation.They highly recommend but do not require pre-departure COVID testing unless one is required by the destination.

Virgin Voyages

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated cruisers are welcome, although they will only allow 10% of their cruisers to be unvaccinated. The cruise line will no longer have pre-cruise testing requirements on the Scarlet Lady, which sails out of Miami.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

 

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