CDC Mask Mandate on Cruises Expires. What’s Next?

The CDC’s conditional sail order mandating masks on cruise ships expires Saturday at midnight.

But what does this mean for people who are sailing in the coming days or weeks?

It is now up to cruise lines to determine whether or not people on ships must wear a mask.

Most cruise lines are requiring masks on board until the end of January.

Cruise ships have seen a 30-fold increase in positive Covid-19 cases in the past two weeks, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a Senate hearing Tuesday and the CDC is advising people to avoid traveling on cruise ships, regardless of vaccination status, due to the high risk of COVID-19 infection onboard ships.

Sharon Humphreys says nothing is going to ruin her 60th birthday celebration at sea.

“I have tons of masks. I’m ready,” Humphreys said.

Recent Covid outbreaks on cruise ships have caused cancelations and sailing delays.

Royal Caribbean, for example, has paused the sailing of some of their ships for at least a few weeks.

The Serenade of the Seas has the longest pause. It won’t return to it’s itinerary until late April.

“I think they’re very inconsistent,” Christian Midolo Ray from New York said.

The CDC says more information about the center’s Covid-19 program for cruises will be released soon.

“It’s just very confusing when they say in five days you can go to work but you’re still contagious for ten days but you can go to work. It’s just all over the place,” Paige Donati, also from New York said.