GALVESTON, Texas – Carnival Vista said they have implemented a fleetwide mask policy following a “small number” of COVID-19 cases that were reported on board a cruise ship Wednesday.
The cruise line said they have identified and tested close contacts, and the passengers that tested positive are in isolation.
“The decision to implement the mask policy was made in an abundance of caution, given our focus on the health and safety of our guests and crew,” a spokesperson for the cruise line said. “The voyage will continue as planned and we are dedicated to continuing to provide our guests with a fun and safe vacation.”
Carnival said they will continue to operate with vaccinated cruises as defined by CDC guidelines, including having its crew fully vaccinated. The new policy goes into effect with all cruises that depart on or after Saturday, Aug. 7, through Oct. 31, 2021.
In addition, Carnival has added a pre-cruise testing requirement for all vaccinated guests. Starting with cruises departing on Saturday, Aug. 14 through Oct. 31, 2021, all fully vaccinated passengers must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within three days of the cruise. Vaccinated guests are required to come with their negative test results and proof of vaccination for boarding.
Guests who are unvaccinated were asked to do pre-cruise PCR testing, testing prior to boarding, and testing within 24 hours of debarkation on cruises of five days or longer. Carnival said unvaccinated guests approved for an exemption will be charged $150 for testing and health screening costs. For cruises departing from Florida and Texas, unvaccinated guests are also required to show proof of insurance.
“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,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “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 continue our restart with both fun and safety in mind.”
For more information, go to Carnival.com.