A new policy came into effect on January 1st, 2018 that requires passengers coming to the Port of San Francisco from countries with high rates of vaccine-preventable disease to provide a vaccination certificate or proof they have been vaccinated within 30 days. While this rule is meant to increase public health, it has raised concerns over increased travel costs and unreasonable time demands for those who may not be able to meet these requirements.

The “unvaccinated travel restrictions” is a new policy that the Port of San Francisco has put in place. The policy requires passengers to show proof of being vaccinated for measles, mumps, and rubella before boarding their flight.

Port of San Francisco Adds Testing Requirement for Unvaccinated Passengers

Cruise passengers returning to San Francisco will now be required to take a COVID-19 exam before disembarking. The San Francisco Department of Public Health has issued new guidelines that is more stringent than other municipal standards, although it only applies to travelers who are not fully vaccinated.

Debarkation now requires COVID-19 tests.

The Port of San Francisco sent the following statement to Cruise Hive:

“Due to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases, the Department of Public Health is now ordering all boats that unload passengers at the Port of San Francisco to test all passengers who are not up to date on immunization before coming onshore,” according to the statement.

The Department of Public Health, the Port of San Francisco, and individual cruise companies have signed a series of memorandums of understanding (MOA) for all ships stopping in San Francisco. All ships that embark, unload, or pass through San Francisco must follow the MOAs.

San Francisco Cruise TerminalPung / Shutterstock / Pung / Shutterstock / Shutterstock / Shutterstock

The update comes as a result of recent instances discovered on board the Ruby Princess. Random testing of 25% of passengers was necessary when the ship arrived to San Francisco on January 6, 2022, and 12 positive instances were discovered. “All people are either asymptomatic or have minimal symptoms,” according to the statement. There has been no need for medical care or hospitalization for any of the passengers.”

The ship was returning after a 10-night trip to Mexico at the time. Princess Cruises provided transportation and quarantine accommodations for those guests in compliance with the MOU.

Who needs to be put to the test?

All passengers who are not completely up to date on COVID-19 immunizations must be tested prior to embarkation, according to the new guidelines. The San Francisco Department of Health defines completely vaccinated for this purpose as having completed the whole original immunization series, as well as a booster if the person is eligible.

The statement notes that “this criterion is tougher than federal and state requirements and is meant to safeguard the residents of San Francisco.”

COVID- Due to the Omicron variety, 19 cases have been on the increase in California for many weeks. San Francisco County has more than 80,000 confirmed cases, according to state statistics, with a 9.2 percent rise in positive cases recently recorded.

From San Francisco, take a cruise.

Only Princess Cruises now offers San Francisco as a home port for cruises, and each sailing requires at least 95 percent of guests and staff to be completely vaccinated. Passengers without vaccines are only permitted to board the ship in rare circumstances, and exceptions must be granted prior to departure day.

Cruise Ship at San Francisco Cruise TerminalLoren Zecena / Shutterstock / Loren Zecena / Shutterstock / Loren Zecena

The Ruby Princess, a Crown-class cruise ship, is the only one presently operating from San Francisco. When fully booked, the ship can accommodate 3,080 people, and it initially started operation in 2008. The Ruby Princess was the fourth Princess Cruises ship to resume service after the industry-wide pandemic closure, departing San Francisco on October 31, 2021.

According to the website of the Port of San Francisco, the port receives over 100 cruise ship calls each year and handles over 400,000 passengers.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Holland America Line, and Celebrity Cruises are among the cruise lines that will visit San Francisco in the coming weeks.

San Francisco is also a homeport for Carnival Cruise Line, although no Carnival ships are presently operating from the port. In April 2022, the Carnival Miracle will set sail from San Francisco.

Cruise Ship in San Francisco

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The “san francisco return to work covid” is a new requirement that has been implemented in the Port of San Francisco. The requirement is for passengers who are not vaccinated to provide proof of vaccination before boarding.

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