MIAMI -- Norwegian Cruise Line is dropping a requirement that passengers test negative for COVID-19 before sailing unless it is required by local rules.
The company said Wednesday that it will drop the testing requirement Aug. 1 except on ships sailing from places with local testing rules, including in the United States, Canada, Bermuda and Greece.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requires pre-trip testing for passengers on 94 ships taking part in CDC's voluntary COVID-19 program, including Norwegian ships that sail in the U.S.
Norwegian requires vaccinated passengers in the U.S. to show a negative antigen test for COVID-19 within two days of their trip or a negative PCR test within three days of sailing. Unvaccinated children under 12 are subject to more testing when they board and leave the ship.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. said it will relax its testing policy in other countries to be in line with other sectors of the travel industry “as society continues to adapt and return to a state of normalcy.”
The cruise industry complains that when the pandemic hit, it was singled out for a shutdown by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention while airlines were not.
Norwegian, which has its headquarters in Miami, operates the Norwegian, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas lines.