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Cruise ship passengers will need to wear masks on ships owned by the Carnival Corporation in Australia. The company owns several major lines including Princess Cruises, Cunard and Carnival Cruise Line.
Face coverings are now required in all public indoor spaces, outdoors when in large groups and during the embarkation and disembarkation process.
The rules are only in place in Australia and the surrounding region where rising cases have sparked alarm.
Carnival Australia said: “We can confirm that mask wearing is being applied onboard all Carnival Corporation brand ships operating in Australia and the region as an additional safeguard in light of the current rate of Covid in the general community.
“The past two years have seen all industries, including ours, strengthen their health and safety protocols.
“At the same time, a majority of the population is now vaccinated. At a time when Australia is faced with a rapid rise of Covid cases, it’s critical everyone plays their part in keeping the community safe, and we thank our guests for abiding by the requirements.”
States across Australia have started to review Covid precautions due to a rise in cases around the country.
Royal Caribbean which also operates in Australia has said it will continue to recommend guests wear masks while embarking and disembarking.
Australia had some of the world’s strictest Covid rules and only opened its borders in February.
Carnival’s new measures come after a Covid outbreak on a Princess Cruises’ ship panicked people in Sydney.
Princess Cruises said about 800 of the 3,300 passengers onboard the Majestic Princess tested positive.
The outbreak happened during a 12 day cruise to New Zealand and the line said infected passengers were isolating.
Every passenger was also given a rapid antigen test 24 hours before arrival on the ship.
Guests who tested positive and chose to remain on the ship had to isolate for at least five days.
Covid cases have doubled in a fortnight in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria with record infections in some areas.
Masks are mandatory in hospitals in New South Wales and are recommended in some public areas.
The cruise industry had a difficult pandemic with many people dubbing the ships ‘floating petri dishes’.
The industry was haunted by the outbreak on the Ruby Princess in March 2020 which is thought to have led to 28 deaths.
In several cases passengers were left stranded offshore and unable to dock after outbreaks onboard.
Many cruise lines have now removed mask guidelines and some no longer require passengers to take a test or be vaccinated.
Passengers on Carnival Corporation ships in other areas of the world are not required to wear masks at this point.
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