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Royal Caribbean taking a wait-and-see approach on kid Covid vaccine

While Disney Cruise Line and Celebrity Cruises soon will require passengers ages 5 to 11 to be fully vaccinated, Royal Caribbean International will take a wait-and-see approach on mandatory vaccines for kids.

During her weekly Coffee Talk webinar with travel advisors on Dec. 1, Royal Caribbean senior vice president of sales, trade support and service Vicki Freed said, "At this time, we have not made any decisions on the vaccine requirements for children 5 to 11. We are still in a wait-and-see. We are evaluating it. ... But should we make a change to our protocols and require this, we will give you plenty of notice so that families can get their children vaccinated."

Royal currently mandates that passengers 12 and older be vaccinated to sail. Kids ages 5 to 11 can board with a negative Covid-19 test.

Celebrity's new age requirement kicks in on Feb. 1.

Disney was the first major cruise line to lower its vaccine mandate to age 5, on sailings departing on or after Jan. 13. Disney's decision followed the CDC's Nov. 2 approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for children 5 to 11 years old.

Children between 2 and 4 years old will be required to provide a negative Covid-19 test result prior to boarding a Disney cruise.

MSC Cruises, which like Royal Caribbean allows children under 12 to sail with a negative Covid test, also said that no decision has been made to lower the age requirement for vaccines.

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