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Norwegian Cruise Line to drop requirement for COVID-19 test

The company said Wednesday that it will drop the testing requirement Aug. 1 except on ships sailing from places with local testing rules
Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Gem sits at the Port of Miami, awaiting a hoped-for return to service.
Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Gem sits at the Port of Miami, awaiting a hoped-for return to service. [ SUSAN STOCKER | South Florida Sun Sentinel ]
Published Jul. 6

MIAMI — Norwegian Cruise Line is dropping a requirement that passengers test negative for COVID-19 before sailing unless it is required by local rules.

The company said Wednesday that it will drop the testing requirement Aug. 1 except on ships sailing from places with local testing rules, including in the United States, Canada, Bermuda and Greece.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requires pre-trip testing for passengers on 94 ships taking part in CDC’s voluntary COVID-19 program, including Norwegian ships that sail in the U.S.

Norwegian requires vaccinated passengers in the U.S. to show a negative antigen test for COVID-19 within two days of their trip or a negative PCR test within three days of sailing. Unvaccinated children under 12 are subject to more testing when they board and leave the ship.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. said it will relax its testing policy in other countries to be in line with other sectors of the travel industry “as society continues to adapt and return to a state of normalcy.”

The cruise industry complains that when the pandemic hit, it was singled out for a shutdown by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention while airlines were not.

Norwegian, which has its headquarters in Miami, operates the Norwegian, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas lines.

• • •

How to get tested

Tampa Bay: The Times can help you find the free, public COVID-19 testing sites in the bay area.

Florida: The Department of Health has a website that lists testing sites in the state. Some information may be out of date.

The U.S.: The Department of Health and Human Services has a website that can help you find a testing site.

• • •

How to get vaccinated

The COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5 and up and booster shots for eligible recipients are being administered at doctors’ offices, clinics, pharmacies, grocery stores and public vaccination sites. Many allow appointments to be booked online. Here’s how to find a site near you:

Find a site: Visit vaccines.gov to find vaccination sites in your ZIP code.

More help: Call the National COVID-19 Vaccination Assistance Hotline.

Phone: 800-232-0233. Help is available in English, Spanish and other languages.

TTY: 888-720-7489

Disability Information and Access Line: Call 888-677-1199 or email DIAL@n4a.org.

• • •

More coronavirus coverage

OMICRON VARIANT: Omicron changed what we know about COVID. Here’s the latest on how the infectious COVID-19 variant affects masks, vaccines, boosters and quarantining.

KIDS AND VACCINES: Got questions about vaccinating your kid? Here are some answers.

BOOSTER SHOTS: Confused about which COVID booster to get? This guide will help.

BOOSTER QUESTIONS: Are there side effects? Why do I need it? Here’s the answers to your questions.

PROTECTING SENIORS: Here’s how seniors can stay safe from the virus.

GET THE DAYSTARTER MORNING UPDATE: Sign up to receive the most up-to-date information.

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