Carnival Cruise Line Ends Mask Requirement for Crew Members

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Carnival Cruise Line crew members no longer need to wear a mask while they are working onboard. The cruise line introduced a new guideline today, October 14, which enables guests to see crew members’ faces again and crew members to show their amazing smiles again. 

Although masks have not been necessary for guests for quite some time now, mask use by crew members has been a standard since ships started sailing again last year. The additional safety measure is now optional for crew members, who are all fully vaccinated, Carnival said to Cruise Hive.

Masks Are No Longer Mandatory for Crew Members

After nearly 16 months of cruising, crew onboard the Carnival Cruise Line ships are no longer required to wear a face mask while carrying out their duties. The cruise line has implemented the new rule today, October 14. 

It means guests can now once again see crew members smiling faces while they work, and crew members can do their jobs without being hindered by the face masks.

Carnival President Visits the Crew
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

While the decision to make the masks mandatory for crew members was logical, removing the mandate will be widely regarded as a good thing and a return to normal onboard cruise ships.

Carnival Cruise Line said the following in a statement issued to Cruise Hive: “An update to face mask requirements was issued today for our shipboard team members. Face masks are still recommended but no longer required indoors – except in the medical center, where they are still required.”

Health and safety measures relating to the COVID-19 pandemic have been slowly but surely pushed back in the last months. Cruise lines removed the vaccine mandate, pre-cruise testing for vaccinated guests, and mask mandates for guests following the decision from the CDC to discontinue the voluntary program for cruise ships earlier this year. 

One of the first ships where guests could see crew members’ faces again was onboard Carnival Ecstasy, where Carnival Brand Ambassador first reported the change.

Carnival Valor Crew
Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line

Other ships that have already removed the mask mandate include Carnival Pride, sailing in the Mediterranean and visiting Mykonos in Greece today. The cruise director announced the new guideline in the morning hours. 

Royal Caribbean changed protocols for crew members earlier this month. A Royal Caribbean statement to crew members said the following: “We are happy to announce that from today masks are optional for the crew. If you are willing to wear a mask, it should be with the company’s logo. This is a huge step towards our return to normal life. The decision to wear a mask is up to every crew member.”

What Protocols Remain Onboard?

With a large majority of COVID-related measures slowly making their exit, it would seem that we are nearing the point of returning to normal, pre-pandemic conditions. However, several measures still exist, mainly to ensure cruise lines can effectively handle a potential breakout onboard. 

To that end, all crew members are still required to be fully vaccinated unless unable to do so based on medical or religious conditions.

Carnival Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Debbie Ann Powell / Shutterstock

The crew can still decide to wear a mask if they wish to do so for their own personal safety. Also, a mask will remain mandatory in areas of high risk, such as medical centers onboard. 

Carnival Cruise Line: “Team members may choose to wear or not wear masks based on their preferences, and we ask everyone on board to please respect those personal decisions.”

Guests are still required to provide a negative test result if they have not been fully vaccinated or cannot show proof of that vaccination. Masks could also still be needed from guests onboard cruises with a high-risk factor, such as sailings of 16 nights or longer. Carnival could also decide to implement stricter measures, should the need be there.

While some will find these measures a nuisance, they have proven to be highly successful onboard cruise ships in the last 16 months. With no significant major outbreaks onboard cruise ships, and even a much lower amount of Norovirus cases, the COVID measures have proven to be a great way of keeping guests and crew healthy. 

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