Disney to require cruise guests 5 and older to be vaccinated against COVID-19

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In this handout image provided by Disney Parks, DISNEY CRUISE LINE MAKES INAUGURAL VISIT TO NEW YORK: the Disney Fantasy, the newest ship of Disney Cruise Line ship, sails past the Statue of Liberty after traveling nearly 3,800 miles across the Atlantic Ocean from Bremerhaven, Germany. The 4,000-passenger Disney Fantasy will be christened in New York on March 1, then sail to her home port of Port Canaveral, Florida. (David Roark/Disney Parks via Getty Images)

Disney Cruise Line will require all guests ages 5 and up to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before setting sail starting early next year, the company announced.

In a statement posted on its website on Wednesday, Disney announced the new rules will begin on Jan. 13, 2022. The vaccine was recently approved for children ages 5 to 12.

The cruise line currently requires anyone 12 and older who is vaccine-eligible to be vaccinated, while passengers who are not vaccine-eligible must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken between 3 days and 24 hours before the ship sails.

Younger children who are not eligible for the vaccine must complete testing requirements, which must be a NAAT test, rapid PCR test, or lab-based PCR test, the company said. Rapid antigen tests are not acceptable options, officials said.

Disney’s vaccine requirement runs against a Florida law that would fine companies for mandating vaccines. Norwegian Cruise Line’s parent company has sued over the law, and won an injunction against the state for enforcing it. The state has appealed the decision.

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