Unvaccinated Florida Passengers on Royal Caribbean Cruises Required to Provide Insurance

Royal Carribean recently announced that passengers sailing from Florida ports will be required to provide travel insurance if they are not vaccinated against COVID-19.

"Effective June 29, 2021, unvaccinated guests 12 and older departing on a Royal Caribbean International cruise from Florida are required to purchase travel insurance. The insurance must cover medical, travel and other related costs for COVID-19 should they test positive while on board," a spokesperson for Royal Carribean wrote to Newsweek.

The spokesperson continued, "Guests may purchase travel insurance from a company of their choosing with a minimum of $25,000 per person in medical expense coverage and $50,000 per person in travel expenses or Royal Caribbean's Travel Protection Program package, which includes the required coverage. Proof of travel insurance is a condition of boarding and must be shown at check-in."

According to Royal Carribean, this policy applies to trips leaving from Florida from Aug. 1 to Dec. 31.

"To be considered fully vaccinated, guests must receive their final dose of the vaccine 14 days before sailing and provide documentation such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 vaccination card. Guests who do not or cannot provide proof of vaccination will be considered unvaccinated and subject to these terms," Royal Carribean said.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a "framework for conditional sailing order" which required cruises to prove that 98 percent of its crew and 95 percent of passengers were fully vaccinated before setting sail.

Despite this order, Florida has previously banned businesses and companies in the state from requiring customers to show COVID-19 vaccine proof.

"In Florida, your personal choice regarding vaccinations will be protected and no business or government entity will be able to deny you services based on your decision," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said in May.

The policy update on Tuesday comes shortly after Royal Caribbean announced its Freedom of the Seas ship received a Conditional Sailing Certificate from the CDC.

"Freedom of the Seas has now received a Conditional Sailing Certificate from the CDC to set sail with guests starting Friday, July 2. As the cruise industry's first ship to receive approval and conduct a simulation cruise, Freedom successfully completed its simulation that departed on June 20 from PortMiami," Royal Carribean said in a statement.

The Conditional Sailing Certificate will make Freedom of the Seas Royal Caribbean's first ship to resume sailing from the U.S. since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Royal Caribbean
The Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas gets underway through the Government Cut shipping channel at PortMiami during the first U.S. trial cruise testing COVID-19 protocols on June 20 in Miami. Joe Raedle/Getty