Carnival Cruise Line will issue new mask and COVID-19 testing mandates for passengers

The resurgence of COVID-19 won’t alter the return of Carnival Cruise Line’s voyages, but the Doral-based cruise line plans to issue mask and testing mandates for its passengers, Carnival announced Wednesday.

“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,” a statement from Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy read in part. “We expect these requirements will be temporary and appreciate the cooperation of our guests.”

Masks recommended

With the usual “abundance of caution” softener and noting that other entertainment venues, including Disney parks, have going the same thing, Carnival said, “all guests will be asked to wear masks in certain indoor areas of Carnival’s ships.”

The mandate will start with cruises that begin Saturday and run through Oct. 31.

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COVID-19 testing for vaccinated passengers

Vaccinated people can still get and transmit COVID-19, but they don’t usually wind up hospitalized because of COVID-19. Jackson Health System said Wednesday that 90% of its 278 COVID-19 patients are not vaccinated and of the 28 who are — 21 are immunocompromised from transplants.

To that end, from Aug. 14 through at least Oct. 31, Carnival is requiring fully vaccinated passengers to bring proof of a negative test taken within three days of boarding. The test can be a PCR test or an antigen test. Testing will not be available for you in the terminal.

Guidelines for passengers who haven’t been vaccinated

These passengers aren’t shut out of cruises. They just have to cruise by more rules — which are listed below.

A negative PCR test taken from 24 to 72 hours before sailing.

A negative antigen test at boarding.

A third test within 24 hours of getting off the boat on cruises longer than four days.

Each person will be charged another $150. Those leaving from Florida or Texas ports must show proof of travel insurance coverage at check-in for all passengers over the age of 12.

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