Disney Cruise Line vaccine mandate: Passengers 5 and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19

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Disney Cruise Line announced Wednesday that it will require passengers who are 5 years of age and older to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

In a release on the company's website sharing plans for a "phased relaunch," Disney said that the requirement takes effect on Jan. 13, 2022. 

DISNEY CRUISE LINE MANDATES VACCINES FOR PASSENGERS 12 AND OLDER ON CERTAIN CRUISES

Federal regulators recently approved Pfizer/BioNTech’s pediatric vaccine for children in that age range.

In addition, all vaccine-eligible guests are required to be fully vaccinated against the virus at the time of sailing.

Passengers stand on the deck of Disney Dream, a Disney Cruise Lines’ ship, as it sails to the Bahamas on the first Disney cruise for paying customers since they were stopped during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, from Port Canaveral in F (REUTERS/Joe Skipper)

"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 5 through 11 may complete this testing requirement in lieu of being fully vaccinated for sailings that depart before January 13, 2022. Guests 4 years of age and under must complete the testing requirements," the cruise line said. 

The tests should be a NAAT test, rapid PCR test or lab-based PCR test. Disney noted that rapid antigen tests will not be accepted.

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The company also touted "new and exciting offerings," even though the cruise experience "might have changed a bit." 

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"As we set sail again, the health and safety of our Guests, Cast Members and Crew Members is a top priority. Our focus remains on operating our ships in a responsible way that continues to create magic for all on board. We are resuming sailing in a gradual, phased approach that emphasizes multiple layers of health and safety measures, considering guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other medical experts," the statement continued.

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According to Bloomberg, no-fee cancellations are allowed before Dec. 1 for those who opt against complying with the cruise line's policy.

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