Due to the rapidly spreading Delta variant of the Coronavirus/COVID-19, RCI-Royal Caribbean is expanding its test procedures for voyages departing from the USA with itinerary lengths 5 nights or longer.
Guests are now required to have a negative COVID test before boarding, said CEO Michael Bayley in a Facebook post. He added that the tests could be taken within 3 days prior embarkation.
RCI's new policy will be in place between July 31-August 31.
“Even with the vast majority of our onboard population highly vaccinated we are seeing more covid positive cases with vaccinated guests. The Delta variant is now spreading rapidly with over 92,000 new infections yesterday alone in the USA and in Florida one of the industry’s major markets there were over 17,000 cases yesterday.
“We realize this will not make many guests happy just as it will comfort many guests. We are trying our very best to provide a safe and healthy and fun vacation for all our guests our crew and the communities we visit during these challenging times.”
Royal Caribbean's shares (RCL stocks) fell ~4% on July 30 after 6 passengers on Adventure OTS tested COVID-positive. The 4 of those passengers were fully vaccinated and not sailing together. 3 of the 4 fully vaccinated guests had no symptoms and the 4th passenger had mild symptoms, the company said in a statement. The 2 unvaccinated guests were minors in the same party and were asymptomatic.