The COVID pandemic closed down the cruise industry for months. Carnival says the shutdown cost them billions. When the cruise line started sailing again this summer, things were smooth for a while. But some positive coronavirus tests are changing things, and the mask policy is changing on Saturday. A ship on a seven-day Caribbean cruise out of Galveston, Texas, has reported several positive coronavirus cases on board, KHOU reports. (Carnival hasn't specified the exact number.) The CDC requires 95% of passengers and crew on cruise ships to be vaccinated, but breakthrough infections are still a factor. In light of that, and reports that the delta variant can be carried by vaccinated people, Carnival decided to reassess its policies.
All guests will have to wear a mask in certain indoor areas, CNN reports. Passengers will need to mask up in elevators, shopping areas, buffet lines, the casino, and other areas, the Orlando Sentinel reports. As of Aug. 14, Carnival will also be asking for a negative COVID test taken within three days of departure. In a statement, Carnival brand ambassador John Heald said, “We have to be careful, and we have to get this right, and we will continue to make whatever changes we need to in order for the fun to continue.” (Read more Carnival Cruise Lines stories.)