Disney Cruise Line Drops Most Face Mask Requirements
Last summer, Disney Cruise Line returned to operation after more than a year’s absence.
At the time, Disney performed test cruises to ensure it could protect the health of vacationers during a pandemic.
We’ve come a long way since then, as Disney Cruise Line just dropped most of its pandemic restrictions. So, let’s talk about what just happened.
DCL Updates Its Policies
On March 11th, Disney Cruise Line (DCL) will end its face mask requirement for all guests, albeit with a couple of asterisks.
Here is Disney’s official announcement:
“For sailings originating from a U.S. port of departure beginning March 11, 2022, face coverings will be optional in most indoor locations throughout our ships.”
As usual, Disney stressed that it still prefers that guests wear masks indoors.
Realistically, that’s like when a parent tells a child that they wish the kid would stop pulling their sister’s hair. It’s not gonna happen, and everyone in the room knows it, especially the sister.
With this decision, Disney absolves itself of all responsibility for the health of guests after nearly two years of trying to get adults to act like adults.
That sound you hear is a bunch of cruise ship cast members breathing a prolonged sigh of relief.
For cruise guests, the basics are straightforward. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their guidance on COVID-19.
The team of epidemiologists did this for the best possible reason. We don’t currently have a pandemic outbreak of note in the United States.
Also, the current number of infected Americans is relatively low compared to just two months ago.
Meanwhile, more than 75 percent of Americans have taken at least one dose of the vaccine. Even better, nearly 64 percent are fully vaccinated.
At the moment, we have everything under control. Could that change? Sure. After all, it just happened in December. But we’re in good shape right now!
This knowledge allows Disney to reset its policies to pre-pandemic standards…mostly.
The Official Rules for March 11th
DCL still requires guests to possess proof of complete vaccination before boarding. Here’s the official language from the site:
“Guests (based on US eligibility requirements) to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at the time of sailing.
This is a requirement for all Guests (US and international) ages 5 and older.
Guests who are not vaccine-eligible because of age must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result (paid for by the Guest) taken between 3 days and 24 hours before their sail date.
Guests ages 4 and under must complete the testing requirements. The test should be a NAAT test, rapid PCR test or lab-based PCR test. Rapid antigen tests are not accepted.”
Here are the essential takeaways from this. First, if you’re 5 or older, you need proof of complete vaccination.
If you are traveling with a child under the age of five, you’ll also need to show a negative COVID test for the kid before you can board.
Said test must be from the past 72 hours but NOT within the past 24 hours.
Please note that Disney added the bold text, not me. So, DCL is emphasizing the significance of that requirement.
Asterisks of Note
Beyond that, Disney will only enforce face mask rules in the following instances:
“Guests ages 2 and up, including those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, will still be required to wear face coverings in the Walt Disney Theatre.
Guests under 5 years of age who are currently ineligible to be vaccinated will be required to wear face coverings in Youth Activity spaces and in the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.”
So, everyone will wear a face-covering at Walt Disney Theatre during those shows.
Meanwhile, unvaccinated kids under five must wear masks at Youth Activity spaces and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
Otherwise, Disney cruises won’t come with face mask restrictions for the foreseeable future. This situation would only change due to another outbreak.
In other words, we have every reason to believe that the worst is over with the pandemic. Even cruise ships no longer require face-coverings!
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