Disney Cruise Line dropping vaccination requirement for kids ages 5 to 11


(CNN) — Disney Cruise Line said on Monday it’s dropping its vaccination requirement for children younger than 12.

Starting on September 2, a requirement to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will no longer apply to guests ages 5 to 11 for sailings leaving US and Canadian ports.

The cruise line’s previous rule, which still extends to sailings departing through September 1, required guests 5 and older to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

While the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized Covid vaccines for children as young as 6 months, the cruise line had not extended its requirement to the youngest children.

With the change, a vaccination requirement will still apply for all guests 12 and older. The cruise line notes that vaccinations are recommended for younger travelers.

“In consideration of CDC guidance, Disney Cruise Line highly recommends that Guests ages 11 and younger be fully vaccinated before sailing,” Disney Cruise Line’s website reads.

Covid-19 testing is required for all guests, with different requirements for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

Fully vaccinated guests who provide a negative Covid-19 test result taken one to two days before setting sail are exempt from testing at the cruise terminal. Fully vaccinated guests who do not provide the required negative test results are required to take a test at the cruise terminal and will be charged for those tests.

Guests who aren’t fully vaccinated must provide a negative test result before travel and take a second test at the terminal before embarkation that is paid for by Disney.

CNN Travel has reached out to Disney Cruise Line for comment on the revised policy.

More cruise lines easing Covid rules

Disney isn’t the only cruise line loosening Covid-19 rules, and several cruise lines are going farther in easing protocols.

As of September 5, Royal Caribbean will allow all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to sail from several US ports as well as European homeports.
Celebrity Cruises has also announced plans to ease vaccination requirements on voyages from some ports starting on September 5. And Carnival Cruise Line has plans to allow unvaccinated guests to sail on most cruises starting on September 6.

The moves come after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dropped its program monitoring cruise ships in mid-July.

The agency said it would continue to provide testing recommendations to cruise lines and that ships would still report Covid cases to the CDC.

The CDC said cruise lines have the tools and guidance to manage their own Covid mitigation.

“Additionally, cruise travelers have access to recommendations that allow them to make informed decisions about cruise ship travel,” the CDC said.

Top image: The Disney Fantasy is pictured on January 2, 2022, in Port Canaveral, Florida. (Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP)

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