Luxury small-ship cruise line Ponant announced that, with the COVID-19 situation improving, it is relaxing its pandemic-related health protocols.
Starting September 9, 2022, the company will no longer require passengers to provide a negative COVID-19 test prior to embarking on any of its ships.
In order to board any Ponant vessel, guests now only need to supply a certificate that constitutes proof of at least one of the following scenarios:
— The person has completed a course of vaccination that includes at least three doses of an mRNA vaccine.
— The person has received two vaccination doses, only if the second one was administered within nine months of the embarkation date. Proof of past infection can also count as one of these doses.
— One vaccination dose or proof of past infection (more than 2 weeks prior) and within a maximum of four months at the time of boarding.
Passengers will only be required to test for COVID-19 if it is mandated by local authorities in the destination(s) they’re visiting and guests will be able to take any such tests directly onboard the ship.
At the same time, the wearing of masks onboard is no longer mandatory for Ponant guests, although it remains highly recommended. Mask-wearing while ashore will be compulsory according to the rules set by the local authorities at each port visited. However, Ponant crew members who come into contact with guests will still be required to wear masks.
Lastly, Ponant will adopt a more flexible strategy in the event of a COVID-19 case arising onboard, potentially reducing quarantine measures depending on the ship’s doctor’s diagnosis of the situation. If the doctor deems it appropriate based on his/her assessment of the risk of further infection, guests considered low-risk will no longer automatically be isolated. Instead, they’ll be allowed to take part in activities under careful supervision and in compliance with certain protocols in place to keep everyone on board safe.
However, if the risk of infection is high or escalates, the ship’s Captain may re-implement more extensive health and safety measures, including testing, mask-wearing and quarantine. In all cases, Ponant will increase the strictness of its COVID-19 protocols to meet the level required by the countries it visits.
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