Disney Cruise Lines Will Require All Guests Over Age 5 to Be Fully Vaccinated Against COVID in 2022

Children ages 5 to 11 years old were previously exempt from the vaccination rule

Disney Cruise Line's New Ship Disney Wish
Photo: Disney Cruise Line

Mickey and friends are heading back out onto the high seas — but with some new rules in place amid the pandemic.

Starting on Jan. 13, 2022, all Disney Cruise Line guests ages 5 and up must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to an update to the company website. Children ages 5 to 11 years old were previously exempt from the vaccination rule.

Individuals who are not vaccine-eligible due to age will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID test taken between 24 and 72 hours prior to the sailing date. And all guests will still be required to take a COVID test at the terminal before boarding their cruise.

Disney informed its future guests of the upcoming change in policy nearly two months before it goes into effect.

Covid tests
COVID-19 test. Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty

Anyone who is unvaccinated on a cruise lasting five days or longer must take a COVID-19 test the day before they disembark. Unvaccinated individuals taking part in back-to-back sails will only need one pre-trip test, per the website.

In line with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, DCL accepts eight different vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Covishield, Novavax, Sinopharm and Sinovac.

Currently, guests ages 12 and up must best fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Those ages 5 to 11 years old must provide a negative COVID-19 test in lieu of vaccination for any trips prior to Jan. 13.

Disney Cruise line
Matt Stroshane

This change in policy will take effect shortly before the new Disney Wish ship is slated to set sail for the first time. The ship, which will include several features never before seen in the cruise line's fleet, is expected to make its debut in June 2022 out of Port Canaveral, Florida.

DCL cruises resumed sailings on Oct. 28 after shutting down temporarily in March 2020 due to the pandemic.

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On Nov. 2, the CDC authorized the emergency use of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11 years old. Clinical trials showed the vaccine was 90.7% effective.

In August, the CDC advised individuals "who are at increased risk for severe illness" to avoid cruise ship travel altogether, whether they're vaccinated or not. This included those over 65 and people with chronic conditions, cancer, heart and lung disease, a weakened immune system and other illnesses.

Additionally, the CDC recommends that passengers wear a face mask in shared spaces on ships in addition to social distancing, frequent washing hands and avoiding contact with those who is sick.

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