Carnival Cruises will be relaxing its mask rules.
A release from the company indicated masks will be recommended but not required on board from sailings departing on and after March 1.
“We have had a very successful restart of guest operations thanks to the support of our guests, the commitment of our shipboard team, and the effective protocols we have put in place,” Carnival’s president, Christine Duffy, said in a statement.
Masks on board cruise ships have been an ongoing topic since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
In August 2021, Carnival mandated mask-wearing in many indoor areas of their ships following a “small number” of confirmed Covid cases on board the Carnival Vista, which departed from Galveston, Texas.
Another of the company’s ships, the Carnival Freedom, was denied entry to two Caribbean island ports in December after a few passengers tested positive for Covid-19.
At the time, Carnival confirmed “a small number” of people on board were isolating due to the positive case. The Carnival Freedom was eventually permitted to dock in Amber Cove cruise terminal in the Dominican Republic.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) moved cruises from the “very high risk” category (Level Four) to “high risk” (Level Three).
Under the designation, passengers are advised to “make sure you are up-to-date with your Covid-19 vaccines before cruise ship travel.”
The Carnival Corporation owns several major cruise lines, including Princess, Holland America, Cunard and Seabourn, which comprise about half the world’s total number of cruises.
According to the company, 13 million passengers sail on board a Carnival-owned ship in a typical year.