(12:35 p.m. EST) -- Carnival Cruise Line announced Friday it would begin using the popular VeriFLY technology adopted by several airlines in order to streamline embarkation by allowing passengers to upload proof of vaccination and testing for COVID-19 pre-cruise.
The pilot program, which will debut aboard Mardi Gras Saturday in Port Canaveral, will be implemented across the fleet. VeriFLY is used by several air carriers, including American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Iberia, and Japan Airlines, among others.
Viking Cruises also uses VeriFLY to handle its precruise documentation for vaccination and testing results. Carnival Cruise Line, however, will become VeriFLY's largest cruise client once the pilot program is expanded across the fleet. VeriFLY will be used for all of Carnival's U.S. homeport cruise operations.
In addition, Carnival also announced Friday it will expand its at-terminal testing capabilities for vaccinated passengers, particularly on shorter three- and four-day sailings. Once the program is in place, passengers will be able to preregister and complete required COVID-19 testing pierside.
Carnival says testing sites to support its short itineraries will be announced and activated by the end of the month and that its "Have Fun, Be Safe" health and safety protocols are in effect for all voyages until further notice.
Carnival currently requires all eligible passengers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and makes limited exceptions for children under 12 who can't be vaccinated at this time. Masks are required onboard for all passengers over the age of 2, except while actively eating and drinking, and smoking is no longer allowed in Carnival's shipboard casinos.