You will be tested before and during the cruise:

The Healthy Sail Panel said that while a vaccine may change things down the line, until a vaccine is widely available and performance evaluated, testing is the best approach for the time being.


All guests should be tested 24 hours to 5 days before the cruise, so that they are able to receive a negative result prior to beginning their travel via land or air transportation to the port for embarkation.

If a rapid and reliable test becomes widely available, the cruise line should administer a second test at the pier or immediately before boarding to improve confidence everyone onboard is healthy.

“Using adequately sensitive testing methods, the likelihood of missing a SARS-CoV-2 infection in an individual because of false negatives is extremely low under this double testing scenario.”

If that sort of testing is not available due to financial or logistical constraints, the test 1-5 days before the cruise will suffice.


At embarkation, the Panel does not recommend a specific set of questions but rather recommends that the cruise operators base their screening questionnaires on the latest CDC guidance regarding signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

To encourage truthful reporting, cruise operators should make guests and crew aware that identification of symptoms or potential exposures does not automatically result in denial of boarding. An individual who reports a symptom that may indicate COVID-19 should go to a secondary screening area for further medical evaluation. Individuals reporting recent, prior contact with an individual with suspected COVID19 should also be referred to secondary medical screening.

Temperature checks:

Despite the Panel’s thoughts that temperature checks provide “limited value in identifying individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infections”, they still feel it is a simple, quick, and low-cost step that can be taken as part of an overall strategy to prevent SARS-CoV-2 from entering a ship.

The panel recommends temperature checks be conducted every day, and in the later part of the day “when individuals are more likely to present with a fever” of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

The Panel does not recommend that cruise operators perform temperature checks more frequently than once a day.

You will be denied boarding if anyone in your group tests positive:

Preventing infected people from boarding a cruise ship in the first place is a primary focus of keeping cruise ships safe, and in addition to the health screenings conducted at embarkation, there are some automatic denials for everyone in a group that may have tested positive recently.

If a group is traveling together to a cruise, if any one of them has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the previous two weeks, all members of that party who are close contacts of the infected individual should not travel to the pier and all will be denied boarding. 

Guests should be made aware far in advance of their cruise about mask wearing requirements, social distancing requirements, and changes in other cruise operations so they are prepared to comply with these policies on board.

Guests and crew should wear masks:

One of the top questions among cruisers was if they would have to wear masks, and mask use while onboard appears to definitely be part of the plan.

Guests should wear face coverings in any indoor, congregate setting regardless of physical distancing measures, but should not be required to wear face coverings in their own cabins.

A notable exception is indoor dining. Seating in restaurants and bars/lounges should allow for physical distancing, so guests can eat and drink without needing face coverings while seated.Face coverings are not required in outdoor settings as long as physical distancing is feasible. However, if physical distancing is not feasible in certain outdoor settings, masks/face coverings among guests should be required in those locations.

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