Several Cruise Lines Make Decisions Regarding Vaccinations for Crew and Guests
This is a cruise line that requires guests to be over the age of 50. Saga has just announced that vaccinations will be required by all passengers on board. They are looking to restart cruising in April or May. They are however, not requiring crews to be vaccinated which is confusing and odd. They have also stated as of late last week that there will be no exceptions. There will be no medical exceptions for pregnancy, preeisintg condition or anything else.
Saga received a host of negative comments from anti-vaxxers who aren’t even necessarily in their guest demographic but who were upset at the blanket requirement. Followin this, they proceeded tomake their social accounts private. We hope Saga returns and stands strong on this issue. If this is what you want to require than stand firm and explain why because as we said, we expect other cruise lines to follow suit.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian and its sister company Regent Seven Seas Cruises brand have announced they will be requiring all of crew members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine prior to boarding.
“We are exploring all options regarding vaccinations for guests and crew and it is our intention that all crew members be vaccinated before boarding our vessels to begin their duties, subject to availability of the vaccine. We will continue to partner with global and domestic authorities and the Healthy Sail Panel, our team of leading expert advisors, to explore all options necessary to protect guests, crew and the communities visited.”Norwegian and Regent Seas Statement
They have not made an announcement regarding guests at this time.
Several cruising companies such as Carnival, its Holland America line and Royal Caribbean have yet to make official announcements regarding vaccine requirements for crews or guests but have said they are “reviewing” different options.
We do expect more cruise lines to follow suit in regards to requiring vaccinations for guests at least temporarily once vaccines are readily available and to be frank we don’t expect sailings to resume until that happens. With so many deaths being reported, ports aren’t looking to welcome cruisers back and it would be a huge liability for ships to resume sailing at this time without more people successfully vaccinated.
Travel Vaccine Passport
With more travel companies and destinations looking at requiring proof of vaccine, it begs the question, how will one prove they have received the vaccine? Most places aren’t providing proof of receipt for those who have been vaccinated which will most certainly cause confusion if this becomes a thing.
Some destinations including the Seychelles, Cyprus and Romania have already lifted quarantine requirements to visitors who are able to prove they have been vaccinated. Others destinations like Iceland and Hungary, have opened up to people who’ve had and recovered from Covid-19.
Zurab Pololikashvili, the secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, has called for the global adoption of vaccination passports as part of wider measures he said were essential to get the world in motion once again.”The rollout of vaccines is a step in the right direction, but the restart of tourism cannot wait,” he told a meeting of the UNWTO’s Global Tourism Crisis Committee in Madrid. “Vaccines must be part of a wider, coordinated approach that includes certificates and passes for safe cross-border travel.”
This seems to be the easiest way to track and trace those who have been vaccinated and reopening things like cruising and other travel destinations and options. It would be easiest to be a blanket mandate but that would require multiple nations and industries to work together so we will have to see how that pans out as this moves forward and vaccines continue to roll out to more groups of people.
The concept may seem easy but for many it is a point of contention. Not only that development and implementation of such a thing would take time, resources and as we mentioned above, agencies, industries and governments working together.
Additionally, questions linger over whether they would become mandatory for any travel and how personal data would be shared safely.
It also leads to additional questions. Privacy rights must be taken into account? And what about those who have medical reasons for not getting the vaccine?
We will continue to provide updates on this as they become available.