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P&O Cruises Covid policy slashed – latest requirements explained

P&O Cruises COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements have finally been dispensed as its vaccination and testing policy is abolished for most cruise holidays – this is the latest update for 2023.

P&O Cruises has slashed its strict COVID-19 vaccination and testing policy making travel for holidaymakers at sea much simpler.

However, the line has said it “highly recommends” all guests are up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters when eligible and where available.

Certain holidays will still require guests to be vaccinated and tested for COVID-19, with these sailings currently confirmed to depart up to July 31, 2023.

So what are P&O Cruises’ COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements and guidelines for face masks and life onboard right now?

P&O Cruises vaccine policy

The P&O Cruises COVID-19 vaccination and testing policy has seen vaccine requirements cut. The “majority of holidays” no longer guests to be vaccinated after the policy changed on March 1, 2023, detailed the cruise line.

The exception to this rule is passengers booked on cruise J301 – those travelling on Arcadia’s World Cruise, Classic Southern Hemisphere Journeys or Exotic fly-cruises.

For these sailings, P&O Cruises COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements need “all guests to be fully vaccinated with an approved COVID-19 vaccine, plus a booster vaccine, if eligible, a minimum of 14 days before travelling”.

Note, if you have had one booster vaccine you are considered fully vaccinated, according to the P&O Cruises COVID-19 vaccination and testing policy.

Proof of your vaccination status will be checked against your photo ID at the terminal/airport before boarding so make sure you have this either in digital or printed format (a screenshot is fine).

It must be an official certificate of vaccine status issued by your local health authority such as NHS England.

To meet these P&O Cruises COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements, travellers in England can download the NHS app, register with their NHS number and photo ID to access ‘Get your NHS COVID Pass’.

You can download a PDF copy of your vaccine record and/or request to receive an offline copy by email. Do screenshot this in case of any connectivity issues pre-boarding!

P&O Cruises Covid test policy

P&O Cruises pre-cruise COVID-19 testing is no longer necessary as of March 1 for the majority of cruises.

As above, the exception is holidaymakers booked on cruise J301 who must self-test ahead of travel.

The British brand states: “All guests must take a self-administered COVID-19 lateral flow/ rapid-antigen test (RAT) within 24 hours of embarkation or a PCR test within 48 hours prior to embarkation”

To adhere to these latest P&O Cruises COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements, passengers on cruise J301 will be required to declare a negative test result and may be asked to show appropriate proof at the terminal.

For lateral flow and rapid-antigen P&O Cruises COVID-19 test results, you will need to present one photo which shows the negative result, a government-issued photo ID (such as a driver’s licence), a clock displaying the time (a watch, mobile phone or wall clock, for example) and the date of testing (this can be written on a piece of paper).

If you have carried out a PCR test, the text message from the laboratory or health authority which confirms the travel COVID-19 PCR test result will suffice.

P&O Cruises face mask policy

According to the updated P&O Cruises COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements, passengers are not required to wear face masks when sailing with P&O Cruises unless they’re in the medical centre.

P&O does recommend mask-wearing however and advises taking one with you when you disembark should they be needed at your destination.

What to do before you cruise in 2023

Take stock of your own health. If you’re displaying any COVID-19 symptoms or feel ill in the days head of your cruise holiday, it’s advisable to take a COVID-19 test before travel and only head to the ship if it is negative.

If you’re symptomatic on the day of embarkation, P&O Cruises asks you declare this to terminal or check-in staff.

Check if the destinations you are visiting have any COVID-19-related requirements for entry.

As it stands, most ports do not require COVID-19 entry testing but if needed, a P&O Cruises Covid test will be organised by the line.

Tests will be available to purchase onboard your ship for £18 per antigen test per person and £25 per PCR test per person.

To meet P&O Cruises COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements, ensure you have comprehensive cruise-specific travel insurance. Your policy must include medical cover of £2m minimum and cover for emergency evacuations and medical expenses related to COVID-19.

The insurance must also include full cover for any and all pre-existing medical conditions worldwide, or as a minimum, in the countries you’re due to visit.

What else do you need to know about P&O Cruises 2023?

Muster drills are no longer carried out in person, instead, you will be directed to your muster station so you can familiarise yourself then a safety video will be shown on your in-cabin TV.

Secondly, the Loyalty hospitality lounge won’t be open at the terminal as P&O Cruises wants guests to go through as efficiently as possible.

The children’s club is back to normal but guests are asked to register their children in advance which can be completed through their online account.

Set sail

Caribbean with P&O Cruises

Duration: 14 nights

Where: Barbados | Curacao | Bonaire | Kingstown, St.Vincent | Grenada | St Lucia | St Kitts | Antigua | St Maarten | Barbados

Ship: Britannia

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Published 03.24.23