VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — As more people get vaccinated, there may be some barriers for Canadians when it comes to travelling.
Some cruise lines already won’t accept international passengers who’ve mixed and matched COVID-19 vaccinations. Mixed vaccination protocols will not be accepted on Norwegian Cruise lines embarking or disembarking at U.S. ports.
For Princess Cruise Lines, guests who have received one single dose of a AstraZeneca and one single dose of an mRNA vaccine (such as Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna) will not be considered fully vaccinated.
Sanjay Goel, president and founder of Cruise Connections Canada, expects the vaccine guidelines to evolve in the months to come.
“The Canadian market, the U.K. market, Germany, Spain, many of these countries who have done mixing vaccines, these are important markets for other countries, as well as companies such as Royal Caribbean,” he said.
On it’s website, Princess Cruise Lines says mixing mRNAs is acceptable, but a combination that includes AstraZeneca isn’t.
“Guests who have received one single dose of a vector vaccine (e.g. AstraZeneca) and one single dose of a mRNA vaccine (e.g. Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna) will not be considered fully vaccinated. Guests who have received two single doses of mixed vaccines that are the same type (e.g., mRNA) will be considered fully vaccinated and will be permitted to sail, so long as the final dose is received at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise,” the website reads.
Norwegian Cruise will also not accept mixing any vaccines, as stated on their website.
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“For ships embarking or disembarking at U.S. ports, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and/or World Health Organization (WHO) authorized single brand vaccination protocol will be accepted. Including, J&J Janssen, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Oxford. Mixed vaccination protocol will not be accepted (i.e. Pfizer + Moderna or AstraZeneca + Pfizer, etc),” it states.
The statement adds that all other vessels departing from non U.S. ports “will accept any U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), European Medicines Agency (EMA), or World Health Organization (WHO) authorized single brand vaccination protocol. Or a mixed vaccination protocol of only AstraZeneca-SK Bio, Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna combinations.”
Goel says vaccination rollouts have evolved rapidly and some travel guidelines just haven’t caught up yet.
“The U.K. has 70 million people, they’ve had a large amount of vaccinations, and from what I understand, also a large amount who have done some form of combination. So I’m hopeful for the moment that this dust will settle in the next few weeks,” he said, adding that he’s confident the guidelines will evolve.
Canada’s cruise ship ban will end in November. Meanwhile, cruises resumed in the U.S last month for the first time since March 2020.