Carnival Cruise Line Will Require Masks, Testing for All Guests — Regardless of Vaccination Status
Carnival Cruise Line will require all guests to get tested before embarking on a cruise and wear masks indoors going forward, even if they're fully vaccinated.
Starting Aug. 7, masks will be required for all passengers in many indoor areas of Carnival's ships like elevators and in the casino, according to the company. And beginning Aug. 14, all passengers — including vaccinated guests — will have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken within three days of the start of their cruise.
The policies will be in effect until at least Oct. 31.
"These new requirements are being implemented to protect our guests and crew while on board, 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," Christine Duffy, the president of Carnival Cruise Line, said in a statement. "We expect these requirements will be temporary and appreciate the cooperation of our guests."
Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention loosened mask-wearing and waived testing requirements for fully-vaccinated passengers, but recently recommended people wear masks indoors "in areas with substantial and high transmission," regardless of their vaccination status. Several destinations have re-implemented indoor mask mandates — like Disney and Las Vegas — which Carnival cited in its decision.
Currently, Carnival is operating a series of vaccinated cruises in which guests must have received the final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before embarkation
Passengers who are granted an exception must undergo several tests, and for cruises leaving out of Florida and Texas, unvaccinated passengers 12 and older must also obtain travel insurance.
Carnival isn't alone in updating its testing policy. Royal Caribbean has also said it will now require all guests to get tested for COVID-19 for most cruises that are five nights or longer.
The updated policy comes as the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread. Currently, the United States is seeing more than 66,000 new daily cases on a 7-day moving average, according to the CDC, the overwhelming majority of which are attributed to the delta variant.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.