Middle East Cruise News

No masks or COVID tests needed for Costa Cruises 2022/23 Dubai cruise season

Costa Cruises has updated its COVID-19 protocols for the upcoming 2022/23 Middle East cruise season out of Dubai, as well as cruises in the Mediterranean and Caribbean.

From October 8th, new procedures will enter into force, which will simplify the pre-embarkation process, as a COVID test will no longer be required, and masks will cease to be mandatory.

This change expands on Costa Cruises’ decision last spring to remove all restrictions on the use of on-board and shoreside services, such as excursions, restaurants, bars, theaters, gyms, swimming pools, and wellness areas.

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The remove of all PCR and antigen testing requirements will apply only to the United Arab Emirates, Mediterranean and Caribbean, and will only apply to fully vaccinated guests.

Unvaccinated guests will still require an antigen or PCR test in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, while in the UAE cruises remain open only to those who are fully vaccinated.

Mediterranean and the Caribbean

On Mediterranean cruises (excluding Greece) and the Caribbean cruises lasting less than 14 nights, guests who have completed the COVID-19 vaccination (2 doses + booster; 1 dose J&J + booster; 2 doses +recovery) will be able to embark Costa ships without having to undergo any more pre-embarkation tests.

Guests who have not been vaccinated will need to present an official certification of a negative result of an antigenic swab (or RT-PCR molecular swab) at the time of embarkation. The test will need to have been performed within 48 hours of embarkation.

All cruises calling in Greece will continue to be available only to fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated and recovered guests (2 doses + booster; J&J + booster; 2 doses + recovery; 1 dose + recovery; recovery only), and those who have undergone antigen testing with a negative result within 48 hours of embarkation.

On cruises visiting Morocco, guests without full vaccination will be required to take an additional RT-PCR molecular test on board 48 hours prior to entry into the country.

For Caribbean cruises, shore leave of unvaccinated guests in Barbados, St. Vincent and St. Marteen is permitted only with a negative result of an antigen test performed 24 or 48 hours prior to the ship’s arrival. These tests, as well as those scheduled prior to enter Morocco, can be done on board Costa ships at an additional charge.

Around the World and Trans-Atlantic Cruises

Around-the-World, transatlantic, and generally all cruises longer than 14 nights, require guests to be fully vaccinated and take an antigen test with a negative result within 48 hours of embarkation.

In addition, mask use on board will be mandatory in public areas during the first 7 days of the cruise, while in other destinations (Mediterranean, Caribbean, and the UAE) mask use is simply recommended.

In all destinations mentioned, where applicable, the full vaccination requirement applies only to guests aged 12 and over (except on Around-the-World and transatlantic cruises, from age 18 and over), and the swab requirement from age 5 and over.

In a press release, Costa Cruises said these simplified protocols are consistent with measures currently in place in the destinations visited by the company’s ships, and that its enhanced sanitisation of public areas, cabins, terminals, and vehicles used for excursions and guest transportation will be maintained.

Costa Cruises noted in a statement that if local authorities implement new measures in future, its protocols will adjust accordingly. In such cases, the company will inform its guests prior to departure.

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