‘No jab, no sail’: P&O cruises mandates vaccines for Australian passengers

P&O Cruises Australia President Sture Myrmell has confirmed the popular cruise line will mandate vaccinations for all eligible passengers and staff. That includes children aged 12 and above.

“We have listed to the community and to our loyal guests, we want people to feel confident about cruising,” Myrmell told the Cruise Lines International Association webinar this week.

“Our research shows that the vast majority of our guests want to cruise with other vaccinated Australians.”

The Australian government banned international cruise companies from operating in Australian waters until September 17 as the COVID-19 pandemic raged.

It’s not yet known whether the ruling will be overturned allowing cruises to operate from Australia in the summer.

P&O Cruises Vaccination mandate
P&O Cruises will mandate vaccinations for Australians above 12. Credit: P&O

P&O said it would confirm more details of the vaccination mandate once the government agreed to a restart date. 

However, Myrmell did say the company would not make an exception for teenagers.

“If a child is eligible then they will need to be fully vaxxed to sail,” Myrmell said.

Children over the age of 12 will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination from September 13.

P&O Covid vaccinations
Want to swim here? You’re going to need a COVID-19 vaccination

Not just P&O

The P&O Cruises vaccination mandate is a clear sign of where the industry is heading in Australia. And it isn’t the only cruise company mandating vaccinations.

Carnival Cruise lines already require proof of vaccination on all ships operating from the USA. And Norwegian Cruise Lines has mandated vaccination for all passengers and crew. 

Several countries including The Bahamas have banned cruise ships from entering port unless all passengers aged above 12 have had a COVID-19 vaccine. 

So if you want to cruise in future, you’re going to need to get the jab.

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