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What to Know About Testing and Vaccine Requirements for Travel

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Celebrity Cruises, set to be the first U.S. cruise ship to restart operations on June 26 from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said it’s optimistic that a resolution would be reached in time. It is requiring that guests 16 years and older be vaccinated, while children will be tested at the terminal.

Carnival Cruises said on Monday that its first ship would set sail from the Port of Galveston, in Texas, on July 3 and would be available only for vaccinated passengers. Norwegian, which will begin to operate cruises from Miami in August, said it will require the same through October 31 and has threatened to skip Florida ports if the state does not allow cruise lines an exemption from the law banning vaccine requirements.

Christine Duffy, the president of Carnival Cruise Line, said in a statement on June 7 that “the current CDC requirements for cruising with a guest base that is unvaccinated will make it very difficult to deliver the experience our guests expect, especially given the large number of families with younger children who sail with us.”

“As a result, our alternative is to operate our ships from the U.S. during the month of July with vaccinated guests,” she said.

But even if you are vaccinated, you must also consider the requirements of the country where the cruise is disembarking. The Caribbean island of St. Maarten, for instance, where Celebrity Cruises started sailing on June 5, requires a negative test in addition to proof of vaccination.

This will also depend on where you’re going, but a good rule of thumb is to carry your physical vaccine card, if you have it, and proof of a negative test, if it is required.

Mr. Alexander, the travel agent, recommends people bring the original documents. While a number of digital health certificates — which show vaccine status and test results — are in the works, he said, they are not yet widely accepted. You should check, also, that your document is in the correct language. The United Kingdom, for instance, requires that test results be in English, Spanish or French.


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