Carnival Cruise Line requires COVID-19 travel insurance

Carnival Vista cruise ship, owned and operated by Carnival Cruise Line, sits docked at PortMiami in Miami, Florida, on Sunday, April 25, 2021.

Carnival Vista cruise ship, owned and operated by Carnival Cruise Line, sits docked at PortMiami in Miami, Florida, on Sunday, April 25, 2021.

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Unvaccinated and booked on a Carnival Cruise Line cruise from a Florida port after July 31? You’ll have to buy special COVID-19 travel insurance.

Carnival Cruise Line joined Royal Caribbean International in requiring COVID-19 travel insurance for unvaccinated passengers on cruises from Florida ports. Carnival requires all passengers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but allows for pre-approved exemptions for unvaccinated passengers if they agree to extra testing and, in the case of Florida, travel insurance.

The travel insurance must be in the name of the unvaccinated passenger and must cover at least $10,000 of medical expenses and $30,000 of emergency medical evacuation expenses. Unvaccinated passengers under the age of 12 are not required to purchase the insurance.

Before companies can restart operations from U.S. ports, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requires them to secure agreements with ports and local health authorities in the U.S. cities they will visit that outline worst-case scenario evacuation plans for sick people on board.

The CDC recommends that people who are not fully vaccinated avoid travel on cruise ships and has a Level 3 travel warning, its second highest, in place.

Carnival Cruise Line restarted passenger cruises on two of its ships this month — Carnival Vista out of Galveston, Texas, and Carnival Horizon out of Miami — and plans to restart six more ships by the end of the summer.

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Taylor Dolven is a business journalist who has covered the tourism industry at the Miami Herald since 2018. Her reporting has uncovered environmental violations of cruise companies, the impact of vacation rentals on affordable housing supply, safety concerns among pilots at MIA’s largest cargo airline and the hotel industry’s efforts to delay a law meant to protect workers from sexual harassment.

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