• Norwegian Cruise Line is the first major cruise line to announce that it's dropping its pre-travel Covid-19 testing requirement.
  • The change doesn't affect people traveling from the US, where local regulations still require testing. 
  • Carnival and Royal Caribbean didn't immediately say whether they will also ease testing requirements.  

Norwegian Cruise Line is the first major cruise company to drop its policy requiring a negative Covid-19 test before passengers can set sail, but it won't affect travelers in the US. 

The newly relaxed policy will officially take effect on August 1, but Norwegian says testing requirements will remain in places with local regulations, like the US, Canada, Greece, and Bermuda. 

In a statement, Norwegian said that "the relaxation of the testing policy is in line with the rest of the travel, leisure and hospitality industry worldwide as society continues to adapt and return to a state of normalcy."

Norwegian's competitors, Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean Cruises, still have pre-travel testing requirements in place. However, neither company could be immediately reached for comment when asked by Insider whether they were planning to follow Norwegian and ease pre-travel testing policies. 

The cruise industry has taken a beating since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Cruise companies operating out of the US were barred from sailing by the CDC for more than six months beginning in March 2020. Since then, cruise lines have faced a slew of operating challenges, including slowing demand, hiring shortages, and outbreaks onboard


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