US Virgin Islands Mandating Vaccines for Cruise Passengers Over 12

US Virgin Islands Mandating Vaccines for Cruise Passengers Over 12

The Governor of the United States Virgin Islands announced on Sunday that all cruise passengers 12 years of age and older would need to be fully vaccinated for a ship to be permitted to dock at the territory’s ports.

According to the U.S. Virgin Islands’ official website, Governor Albert Bryan Jr. worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Maritime Unit, the Virgin Islands Port Authority (VIPA) and the Virgin Islands Department of Health (DOH) to develop the updated health and safety protocols for the cruise industry.


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The regulations mandate that at least 85 percent of the entire population of guests and crew onboard each ship must be vaccinated, and all non-inoculated passengers over two years old must provide a negative COVID-19 test result taken within five days before arrival.

If any passenger on board the vessel tests positive for coronavirus, they must remain in isolation on the ship. All passengers must also agree to all established rules and requirements while inside the restricted area.

The U.S. Virgin Islands welcomed Celebrity Edge on July 6, the first cruise ship call since the COVID-19 pandemic essentially shut down the industry last spring. Celebrity Edge made a port call to Crown Bay on St. Thomas on August 17 and Celebrity Equinox made a port call at the Ann E. Abramson Marine Facility on St. Croix on August 18.

Officials from Royal Caribbean International announced on August 2 that all passengers ages 12 and up scheduled to sail to the U.S. Virgin Islands must be fully vaccinated.

Earlier this month, the CDC raised several countries and territories to the “Level 4: Avoid Travel” list, including the U.S. Virgin Islands. The CDC’s Level 4 list currently includes about 90 countries and territories.

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