Coronavirus: Royal Caribbean to relax mask rules starting Friday

Another cruise line is relaxing its coronavirus rules later this week.

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According to USA Today, Royal Caribbean International said masks will be optional for fully vaccinated passengers aboard ships departing from the U.S., including Puerto Rico, starting Friday.

“We expect unvaccinated children to continue wearing masks indoors and in crowded settings,” the company said on its website, adding that masks will remain mandatory for children while they are attending the Adventure Ocean youth program. Masks will not be required for children under 2 “at any time,” according to the website.

The company said masks also will be optional for guests while they are on shore at Royal Caribbean’s private destinations; however, guests will have to follow local mask regulations at public ports of call.

As many may know the CDC conditional sail order expired mid January and we continued to operate voluntarily under the...

Posted by Michael Bayley on Friday, February 18, 2022

The news came as other cruise lines, such as Carnival and Norwegian, announced plans to make masks optional for guests on cruises departing from the U.S. beginning March 1.

>> RELATED STORY: Carnival Cruises to change mask guidelines

On Feb. 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lowered the cruise ship COVID-19 risk level from “very high” to “high.”

“Make sure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before cruise ship travel,” the agency said on its website.

As of Tuesday, the U.S. was averaging 81,823 new COVID-19 cases per day, down 66% in the past two weeks, according to The New York Times. New daily hospitalizations and deaths declined 44% and 24%, respectively, over the 14-day period, the newspaper reported.

For the latest on each cruise line’s COVID-19 mitigation steps, including masking rules, visit the websites below:

Norwegian Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line

Princess Cruises

Holland America

Virgin Voyages

Seabourn Cruise Line

Celebrity Cruises

Royal Caribbean

Costa Cruises

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