MIAMI— A “small number of positive cases” of COVID-19 have been reported aboard the Carnival Vista, which recently departed from Galveston, Texas.
According to Carnival Cruise Line, the passengers are in isolation and their close contacts have been identified and tested. The cruise will go on as planned. Carnival Cruise Line did not confirm how many positive cases were detected.
“Our pre-established protocols of vaccinated guests and crew, testing, enhanced medical capabilities and contact tracing anticipated the potential for positive cases, and they are designed to adapt to various scenarios,” said Carnival Cruise Line in an official statement.
Since its restart in U.S. waters last month, Carnival Cruise Line has been operating vaccinated cruises for guests who have received their final dose of a CDC-approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to embarkation. All ships will continue to operate as vaccinated cruises through at least October.
On the same day the positive cases were detected, Carnival also announced that its new mask policy, which was to come into effect for cruises departing on or after Aug. 7, was implemented early on the Carnival Vista. The cruise line confirmed to NBC 5 that the decision was prompted by the small number of positive COVID-19 cases onboard.
Carnival’s new mask guidelines apply to all guests, regardless of vaccination status, and requires them to wear masks in certain indoor areas of Carnival’s ships until Oct. 31, 2021.
In addition to masking, Carnival has added a pre-cruise testing requirement for all vaccinated guests departing Aug. 14 through Oct. 31, 2021. All fully vaccinated guests must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within three days of embarkation (testing in the terminal will not be available).
Guests who are unvaccinated must adhere to several protocols including pre-cruise PCR testing, testing prior to boarding, and testing within 24 hours of debarkation on cruises of five days or longer. For cruises departing from Florida and Texas, unvaccinated passengers are also required to show proof of insurance.
For more information on Carnival’s COVID-19 protocols click here.