Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. announced an end to its pre-embarkation COVID testing requirement for cruises where local restrictions do not require them, the company said Wednesday.
The policy change will take effect on Aug. 1 for its brands, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
“The relaxation of the testing policy is in line with the rest of the travel, leisure and hospitality industry worldwide as society continues to adapt and return to a state of normalcy,” the cruise line operator said in a news release. “The Company continues to strongly recommend all guests be up to date on vaccination protocols and test at their convenience prior to travel.”
Norwegian added that all of its sailings are still taking place under its “SailSAFE health and safety program which will evolve along with the public health environment.”
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The company said pre-embarkation testing will stay in place for trips from places that have local testing rules, including the U.S., Bermuda, Canada and Greece.
In the U.S, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still requires pre-embarkation testing for ships participating in its COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships, according to its website. Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises all participate in the program.
The change comes as cruise travel is returning to normal more than two years after the pandemic shut down the industry, with bookings on the rise and fleets ramping back up.