Royal Caribbean to require unvaccinated guests on Florida cruises to have travel insurance

Unvaccinated passengers on Royal Caribbean cruises departing from Florida will be required to have travel insurance, the company said Tuesday.

After Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation banning "vaccine passports," which means companies cannot ask customers for proof of vaccination, the cruise line said all passengers 16 and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 -- except for on ships setting sail from Florida

Instead, Royal Caribbean has created specific policies for cruises that depart from ports in the Sunshine State.

According to Reuters, the new policy states that unvaccinated guests over 12 years of age must have a travel insurance policy with a minimum of $25,000 per person for medical expenses and $50,000 per person for travel expenses. 

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The insurance must cover COVID-19 related medical expenses, quarantine and evacuation. Proof of travel insurance is a condition of boarding and must be shown at check in, the company told Reuters. The changes apply to trips scheduled from Aug. 1 through Dec. 31, 2021.

Earlier this month, Royal Caribbean released the first of its guidelines on its website, saying that for July sailings on Freedom of the Seas departing from Miami, unvaccinated guests would have to undergo multiple COVID-19 tests at their own expense. 

"If you do not wish to undergo or pay for additional testing, or adhere to these health and safety protocols, we are happy to provide you with a refund," Royal Caribbean's site says.

Once onboard the ship, the company says there will be venues and events restricted to vaccinated guests only since the majority of passengers will be vaccinated.

RELATED: Royal Caribbean says vaccines will be mandated on all cruises, except ones setting sail from Florida

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated guests will be required to wear masks indoors unless eating and actively eating or drinking, although masks will not be required for vaccinated guests when in venues or at events designated for vaccinated guests only.

Masks will not be required in guests' staterooms or outdoors, unless in a crowded setting.

The company said the main dining room will have designated areas for vaccinated and unvaccinated reservations to dine separately, while entertainment venues will have select showtimes solely for vaccinated guests.