Carnival Cruise Line has reinstated mandatory mask-wearing requirements for the line’s sailings in Australia out of caution following recent cases reported onboard.
Masks will now be required in all indoor public venues or crowded venues, regardless of vaccination status. Currently, this policy solely applies to Carnival cruises in Australia; masks are not needed on any other Carnival ships.
Carnival Cruise Line amended its Have Fun, Be Safe policies for Australia sailings beginning on 17 November 2022, reintroducing mandatory mask use.
“Masks are needed in public indoor locations for the time being, out of an abundance of caution,” the policy now states.
Unless people eat or drink, these indoor locations include all lounges, halls, elevators, theatres, casinos, and other areas. In their staterooms, guests are not required to wear masks.
Masks are now required during deck parties and other outdoor gatherings with a high number of guests, onshore tour buses and tenders, and inside buildings during any shore excursion. Guests are required to wear masks at all times during the embarking and disembarking procedures.
There is currently no set timeframe for when the reinstated policy might be eased, but it goes into effect immediately. The policy’s use of the phrase “for the time being” suggests that it is only intended to be temporary and will be revised in the future.
Carnival Cruise Line and local health authorities will continue monitoring local COVID-19 case levels, making relevant policy and onboarding procedural changes to protect cruise guests, crew members, and port communities.
Currently, just two Carnival ships, the Carnival Splendor and the Carnival Luminosa, are affected by this restriction, as it only applies to cruises departing from Australia.
The Carnival Splendor, on cruises from Sydney to destinations like Tasmania, New Zealand, and Queensland as short getaways to nowhere.
Cruises to the South Pacific, New Zealand, and the Great Barrier Reef departing from Brisbane are now available on the brand-new Carnival Luminosa, a ship in the Spirit class.
Carnival Cruise Line very recently resumed Australia operations, with the Carnival Splendor, which sailed on 1 October and the Carnival Luminosa, which sailed on 6 November.
Other cruise companies, such as Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises, and Royal Caribbean International, have gradually resumed operations in Australia.
However, some ships have reported substantial COVID-19 cases since the Australian relaunch, including cases among guests and crew members.
It should be noted, however, that there have been no reports of cases on cruise ships showing severe symptoms or necessitating hospitalisation, with the majority of people who test positive reporting no symptoms or only mild discomfort.
According to the Department of Health and Aged Care, Australia has seen a modest increase in overall instances compared to prior months, with more than 54,000 new cases registered in the last week.
Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean have also recently restored the requirement for masks onboard for Australia and New Zealand sailings.