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Carnival Cruise Line to require unvaccinated passengers to buy travel insurance

The company joins Royal Caribbean in requiring unvaccinated customers to pay up for policies costing at least a few hundred dollars.
Credit: AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File
Carnival Cruise ships are docked at the Port of Tampa in Tampa, Fla.

TAMPA, Fla. — Unvaccinated passengers wanting to set sail with Carnival Cruise Line will be required to purchase a travel insurance policy of at least $10,000, the company said on its website.

The change, which goes into effect July 31, affects Florida-based ships. Guests who have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine will be required to purchase a policy with a minimum of $10,000 in medical expense coverage and $30,000 coverage for emergency medical evacuation without COVID-19 exclusions in order to cruise.

Carnival also charges $150 per unvaccinated person to cover the cost of a COVID-19 test.

"Guests without the required proof of insurance will not be permitted to sail and no refund will be provided," Carnival says on its site.

CBS News reports the additional cost to cruise would run a customer about $100 to $200, citing a 2020 LendingTree analysis.

"Consistent with the practices of other lines who are also restarting their operations, and in the best interests of our guests who are unvaccinated, this is important coverage to have should they encounter a medical situation during their cruise," Carnival said in a statement provided to USA Today.

Royal Caribbean announced similar requirements in June for its Florida-based ships with policies of $25,000 per person in medical expense coverage and $50,000 for medical evacuation. 

The travel insurance requirement does not apply to passengers under the age of 12 who are not eligible to receive a vaccine in the U.S.

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