Royal Caribbean Announces Enrollment For New CDC Program

Symphony of the Seas

Royal Caribbean Group will participate in the new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated program for cruise ships operating in U.S. waters, according to President and CEO of the Royal Caribbean International brand, Michael Bayley.

"As many may know the CDC conditional sail order expired mid January and we continued to operate voluntarily under the program," Bayley said, in a social media post. "Recently the CDC issued the next phase of guidelines consisting of three categories each built on the same foundation of protecting health and each with specific guidelines based on vaccination and booster status. All cruise lines had until today to opt in or out of the program.

"Today Royal Caribbean confirmed we will participate in the CDC’s voluntary Program. Specifically, we will operate under the program’s Highly Vaccinated category beginning with sailings departing from the U.S. as of Friday, Feb. 25."

That means requirements will include 95 percent of crew being fully vaccinated, which Bayley said Royal Caribbean already exceeds with its crew 100 percent vaccinated. 

"Ninety-five percent of guests must be fully vaccinated as well -- this excludes children under five years who are not eligible for the vaccine," he said. "The updated protocols will include face masks being optional for all fully vaccinated guests and expected for unvaccinated children. All kids will be required to wear face masks during Adventure Ocean youth program activities. Why ? Because the youth program is kids under 5 not vaccinated and a small percentage of kids 5 to 12 not fully vaccinated as well as fully vaccinated kids participating."

More details are set to be released soon.

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