Mask Mandates Are Coming Back to Some Cruises

Princess Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line brought back the mandate in Australia and New Zealand.

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Editor's Note: We know COVID-19 is continuing to impact your travel plans. Should you travel now, be sure to familiarize yourself with the CDC's latest guidance on domestic and international travel as well as local requirements, protocols, and restrictions for both your destination upon your arrival and your home city upon your return. Be safe out there.

After Carnival Cruise Line's Majestic Princess reported more than 800 COVID-19 infections, Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cruises reinstated mask mandates for its ships based in Australia and New Zealand on November 17, The Guardian has reported. Shortly after, Royal Caribbean International also announced a masking recommendation for its sailings based in Australia.

"As a result of an increase in community COVID-19 transmission in Australia, and out of an abundance of caution, masks are required in all indoor settings on cruises visiting Australia and New Zealand until further notice," Princess Cruises said in a statement, according to The Points Guy. "Princess continues to work with global health experts, responsibly adjusting health guidelines as warranted."

On Carnival and Princess Cruise ships in Australia and New Zealand, passengers and employees must wear masks indoors except when eating and drinking. Outdoor masking will be required when social distancing isn't possible.

"We can confirm that mask-wearing is being applied on board all Carnival Corporation brand ships operating in Australia and the region as an additional safeguard in light of the current rate of Covid-19 in the general community," Carnival said in a statement to Cruise Passenger. "Our strict and robust measures will remain in place for all voyages for the foreseeable future. They are critical to the safe operation of an industry so many Australians rely on for their livelihood and for our guests who have been waiting years to join us on a trip of a lifetime."

Presently, the mask mandates are back only in Australia and New Zealand. It remains to be seen if they will be required on cruises in other parts of the world. Mandate or not, I'd pack a mask on your next trip just to be safe.

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.