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The cruise lines set to lift mask mandates


In the coming weeks, major cruise lines have announced plans to ease mask requirements onboard. 

 

From Friday, fully vaccinated people travelling on Royal Caribbean ships departing the US and Puerto Rico will no longer need to wear masks indoors. 

 

Unvaccinated children aged two and older are still expected to wear masks indoors and in crowded settings, USA Today reported. 

 

 

While travellers will need to follow masking requirements at ports, and don a mask cruise terminal during boarding and screening and during disembarkation, masks will be optional at private destinations Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas and Labadee on Haiti’s northern coast. 

 

From 1 March, Carnival Cruise Line will recommend the wearing of masks on board but not make them a requirement. 

 

Face coverings may still be required “in certain venues and events,” according to its website.

 

Passengers will still need to wear masks during embarkation and debarkation, during any Carnival-approved shore excursions and while on transportation vehicles like water shuttles. Guests must also continue to follow local mask guidance. 

 

The cruise lines updated their policies shortly after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced changes to its Cruise COVID-19 program, advising that those cruise lines sailing with 95% or more of passengers and crew up to date with their vaccinations can lift masking requirements.

 

Both Royal Caribbean and Carnival said they will be participating in the program. 

 

Norwegian Cruise Line will also make masks optional from 1 March.

 

“The public health situation has continued to improve, providing confidence about these changes," Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line said.

 

"Our protocols will evolve as we continue to remain dedicated to protecting the public health of our guests, crew and the communities we visit.”

 

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Published: 23 February 2022

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