Unvaccinated passengers sailing out of Florida will soon have to buy a travel insurance policy before they can board a ship in the Carnival Cruise line.
Carnival’s new COVID policy requiring unvaccinated travelers to show proof of travel insurance goes into effect for trips that set sail from Florida starting July 31. The cruise line has ports in Miami, Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville.
The insurance policy must cover a minimum of $10,000 in medical expenses and include a “$30,000 coverage for emergency medical evacuation and without COVID-19 exclusions,” Carnival says in their policy.
Carnival isn’t the only cruise line to institute a policy specifically for Florida ports. The state has issued a ban on companies requiring customers or employees to be vaccinated, which means that even if a cruise company has decided to require all travelers to be vaccinated before they get on a boat, they have to make exceptions for cruises leaving from Florida.
Florida’s ban has also prompted a new policy for unvaccinated passengers departing on cruises there from Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Lines filed a lawsuit this week against Florida’s surgeon general over the ban, saying in a statement that the ban prevents cruise lines from “safely and soundly resuming passenger cruise operations.” Norwegian is scheduled to resume cruises from Florida on Aug. 15.
Royal Caribbean announced in June that they’d made travel insurance mandatory for unvaccinated passengers 12 and older sailing out of Florida. The policy change came after unvaccinated teenagers tested positive for COVID on a “fully vaccinated” Royal Caribbean cruise aboard the Adventure of the Seas. Passengers 16 and older were required to prove vaccination, but the two teens who tested positive during routine testing aboard the boat were under 16, Insider reported.
Royal Caribbean’s new policy for unvaccinated passengers 12 and older departing from Florida requires unvaccinated travelers to show proof of insurance covering $25,000 in medical expenses and “$50,000 coverage for emergency medical evacuation and no COVID-19 exclusions.” The policy begins for cruises departing Aug. 1 and applies to trips through the end of the year.
Since the FDA has not cleared any of the available COVID-19 vaccines for anyone under the age of 12 yet, Carnival is not requiring insurance for passengers who are children under 12, CBS reported.
So, how much extra will this cost an unvaccinated traveler? Travel insurance policy prices vary because the policies themselves vary, but an analysis from Lending Tree in 2020 found that the average cost of travel insurance is $148.
If you’re planning a trip — especially a trip with kids — read the policies before you book. Cruise Critic reports that while many cruise lines are requiring vaccination, the requirements surrounding age, embarkation and even the vaccines themselves differ. Their handy guide gives an overview of what cruise lines around the world are requiring in 2021.