GALVESTON, Texas - During a cruise on the Carnival Vista, travelers learned some of their fellow passengers onboard tested positive for the coronavirus and mask-wearing would be enforced as a result.
The ship departed from Galveston on Saturday, July 31, but a viewer, who was also a passenger, alerted FOX 26 on Thursday an announcement was made mandating a new mask policy everywhere on the ship except for outside.
We reached out to officials and they confirmed in a statement that it was ‘a small number of positive cases.'
"We have implemented our new fleetwide mask policy early on Carnival Vista, given that we are managing a small number of positive cases on board. 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. We have identified and tested close contacts and anyone who tested positive is in isolation. The decision to implement the mask policy was made in an abundance of caution, given our focus on the health and safety of our guests and crew. The voyage will continue as planned and we are dedicated to continuing to provide our guests with a fun and safe vacation. We appreciate the support of our Carnival Vista guests, who have been extremely supportive as we implemented the policy Wednesday evening."
The ship returned Saturday and while it did not disclose if passengers had any symptoms or serious illness. Additionally, it's unclear if those who tested positive were breakthrough cases of previously vaccinated. However, officials tell us Carnival has been requiring that 95% of its cruise passengers be fully vaccinated before coming aboard.
(Photo courtesy of i45NOW)
Effective August 14 through Oct. 31, Carnival will keep its new mask policy in place for all cruises and that all vaccinated guests have a negative COVID-19 test result three days before departing. The company released the following statement:
"Carnival Vista managed a small number of positive COVID cases on the cruise that just returned to Galveston on Saturday despite all our crew and almost all of our guests being vaccinated. All those who tested positive were placed in isolation. As per our protocols, we tested all unvaccinated guests who debarked the ship this morning and none of our unvaccinated guests tested positive. In addition, we have a process in place to randomly test a large percentage of our crew every day. Carnival is in daily contact with the CDC about the status of all our ships. Carnival Vista is cleared to sail and our onboard protocols meet the CDC guidelines. In addition, starting today, all Carnival ships will ask their guests to wear masks in certain indoor areas as we flex our protocols to adapt to the changing public health situation."