Carnival Cruise line has this week adopted a new set of mask-wearing requirements onboard its cruise ships. The new policy comes in the wake of a number of positive cases of Covid-19 reported on its ships in the past week or so, ramping up the pressure on the already ailing industry.
The new set of requirements issued by Carnival represent the latest in a long line of policy adaptations adopted by cruise lines in an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19 on board from derailing the efforts made to get cruises started once more. Here’s everything you need to know about this story.
Carnival Updates Requirements – Information For Travelers
In June, the cruise industry began once more after more than a year of inaction at the hands of the CDC’s conditional no sail order. Worried about the prospect of cruises becoming super spreader events, they were only allowed to restart with a strict number of provisos in place, such as operating with a vaccinated crew and restricting access for unvaccinated guests to certain parts of the ship. However, even with these provisions in place, cases began to be detected on board.
Carnival has become the latest cruise ship to report cases of Covid-19 onboard its cruises, following the likes of Royal Caribbean reporting 6 positives cases last week. Whilst Carnival has yet to release further details about the positive cases – referring to them as only a “small number of positive cases” – the company has been quick to put policies in place designed to prevent situations like this from happening again.
Carnival has made the decision to force all guests, including those who are vaccinated, to wear their masks in specific indoor areas of the ship. The new policy was scheduled to go live from August 7th, but the events of the past week meant that it was brought forward, and was implemented immediately on August 4th onboard the Carnival Vista ship. Passengers will have to wear masks in elevators, designated indoor entertainment areas, retail shops, in the casino, main dining rooms and at any indoor activity with children under 12 years, such as Build-A-Bear, Family Harbor and Sky Zone.
Speaking about the decision, Carnival’s CEO Christine Duffy said:
“These new requirements are being implemented to protect our guests and crew while onboard and to continue to provide confidence to our homeports and destinations that we are doing our part to support their efforts to protect public health and safety. We expect these requirements will be temporary and appreciate the cooperation of our guests. Our first month of guest operations has been met with tremendous enthusiasm and very positive guest feedback, and we are committed to continuing our restart with both fun and safety in mind.”
Carnival will also be joining cruise rivals Royal Caribbean in asking all passengers, regardless of vaccination status, to provide a negative Covid-19 test prior to boarding in order to help prevent the spread of the virus during cruises from August 14th. The test must be a PCR test taken within 3 days of departure, and must be arranged and paid for by guests, with no pier-side testing available.
Despite reporting positive cases, Carnival is committed to completing its cruise schedule, and has not cancelled or altered the departure date of any cruises, much to the relief of cruise fans and those in the industry. Both the mask and the testing requirement are provisionally in place until October 31st.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com