Disney Cruise Line announced it will require all guests on cruise liners for all Disney and Disney-brand vacation options to be fully vaccinated.
The announcement came on the heels of a communique sent out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday. There are no confirmed cases of measles outbreak on cruise ships, but the statement said that outbreaks occur when people on cruise ships return to the U.S. and begin spreading the virus within the United States.
Disney cruise line currently offers different itineraries across the U.S.
In the future, if travelers are traveling on Disney cruises, they will be required to have fully vaccinated as well as a minimum of one dose of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine before heading on board. That will also apply to “active-duty military personnel as well as members of National Guard and Reserves who have recently gone on leave to observe the Passport to Adventure program,” according to a press release from Disney Cruise Line.
For those currently on Disney cruises, those who are not vaccinated will be discouraged from returning to the ship with any type of vaccination and will have to obtain another valid travel document. Travelers who were vaccinated before being on a Disney cruise and want to continue on would have to provide proof of that and have their vaccination status updated with Disney, by the ship’s medical care team.
“Disney Cruise Line is committed to protecting the health and safety of its guests and employees. We take every precaution to ensure our passengers are as healthy as possible before their trip, and we’re dedicated to supporting them throughout their vacation,” Kristen Mitchell, vice president of People Services for Disney Cruise Line, said in a press release.
The new policy begins in 2020, and all passengers will need to provide an explanation of why they are going on the cruise before the policy is instituted.
A multi-agency CDC investigation was recently launched in response to five new cases of measles that were confirmed during January. Two of those cases were among a pediatric group of children, the CDC noted.
The cruise industry and the public health department offered their recommendations for those who do choose to travel by cruise. People who are the subject of a travel advisory due to a particular illness or who are at very high risk for spreading that illness, such as infants, adults with weakened immune systems, pregnant women and those who have had two or more prior measles exposure incidents, are urged to avoid making any unnecessary travel arrangements.
Those travelers who do choose to travel by cruise should make sure they have received two doses of the MMR vaccine, which is considered the most effective form of measles, and carry a proof of compliance with any necessary health precautions.
They may also want to check their travel insurance policy. While many cruise lines require that policies be current by September 30 of any given year, some are now requiring them by Feb. 1 of the year the cruise begins, if a policy exists.