Royal Caribbean will require guests 2 years and older to be tested for COVID-19

The cruise line has updated its testing policy to ensure the health and safety of guests and employees on board

The Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas, is seen moored in the Port of Miami on August 1, 2021.
(Image credit: DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)

Those planning on embarking on a cruise with Royal Caribbean this summer will need to get a COVID-19 test, regardless of vaccination status. The updated testing policy exempts any children under the age of two, but those 2-years and older will need to get a COVID-19 test.

With the travel industry opening up again, more families are starting to plan summer vacations before school starts. Cruise lines like Carnival Cruise Line are expanding the number of operating ships, but as cases of the coronavirus Delta Variant increase some companies are taking actions to help minimize risk of contraction.

While Disneyland and Walt Disney World require guests to wear masks indoors, Royal Caribbean is taking another  approach. According to its website, from now on pre-departure testing is mandatory for guests boarding certain cruises. Passengers will be required to take a PCR test or antigen test at an accredited testing center. Tests will need to be completed at least three days before departure of cruises five nights or longer and results can be shown digitally or printed.

Royal Caribbean International's Anthem of the Seas cruise ship calls at Greenock port on July 22, 2021 in Greenock, Scotland.

(Image credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Vaccinated passengers on Royal Caribbean cruises going out of Barcelona, Rome, and Cyprus, will be able to take rapid antigen testing at the terminal, but for those unvaccinated, additional testing will be required.

The updated policy comes after an incident where four vaccinated passengers tested positive for COVID-19 while aboard Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas, USA Today confirmed. Two additional passengers were also confirmed positive for the virus but they were unvaccinated minors.

As the Delta Variant continues to spread, health officials continue to encourage anyone eligible to get vaccinated. This includes getting the second dose as there are risks to skipping the second COVID-19 dose. As you’re planning your end of the summer vacations, you may also want to consider avoiding Delta Variant states labeled by the Center for Disease Control.