On Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its recommendation on wearing a face mask outside for those who are fully vaccinated in the United States. The guidelines seem to be improving as the vaccine rollout continues to be a success across the country.
Even though the cruise industry remains shutdown by the CDC’s Conditional Sailing Order, things seem to be moving towards the cruise industry’s favor on the order
New Mask Guidelines for Fully Vaccinated People
The CDC has released new guidelines for fully vaccinated people when it comes to wearing a mask. It is now recommended that there is no longer a need to wear a mask outside for certain reasons.
The CDC says “Outdoor visits and activities pose minimal risk to fully vaccinated people themselves or to those around them.” As a result, people may now start to enjoy outside without a mask as follows:
- Walk, run, or bike outdoors with members of your household
- Attend a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated family and friends
- Attend a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people
- Dine at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple households
When it comes to attending a crowded outdoor event, then vaccinated people should still wear a mask, including most indoor activities. The CDC says that there is still an increased risk of COVID-19 indoors, so a well-fitted mask should still be worn.
The new guidelines come out as part of details on how fully vaccinate people can deal with the virus. Due to the successful rollout of the vaccine across the U.S., the situation looks much more hopeful as summer edges closer.
What About on Cruise Ships?
Now the question is, how do the new mask recommendations impact cruises? Well, U.S. operations remain suspended, but cruise lines are still evolving their own health measures, including following any CDC requirements.
So far, out of the big three cruise lines, only Norwegian Cruise Line has detailed health measures. As part of NCL’s Sail Safe protocols, face masks are required only indoors except when dining. Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line have yet to announce anything relating to masks but would likely require all guests to wear a mask, at least indoors.
Carnival Corporation is working with a number of world-leading health experts to develop its measures across all nine brands. Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean have teamed up with the Healthy Sail Panel headed by Governer Michael Leavitt and Dr. Scott Gottlieb.
Even though cruise lines are urging the CDC to allow cruises to restart out of the U.S. by July 4, 2021, they still intend to follow the advice and guidelines issued by the agency. If the CDC’s Conditional Sailing Order does end up getting overruled, cruise lines will still make sure guests and crew remain safe at all times, including taking advice from their own health experts.
When cruise lines do get closer to sailing we should learn more about what the full details include and where guests will need to wear a mask while onboard.