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Carnival Cruise Line to ease mask mandate for guests from March 1

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Carnival Cruise Line plans to make masks optional for its guests from March 1 after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eased its warnings for cruise ships, the company said in a statement late on Friday.

The company said masks would be recommended but not required.

“There may, however, be certain venues and events where masks will be required,” Carnival said in the statement.

Carnival also said it plans to be offer more flexibility in pre-cruise testing requirements.

The cruise line, operated by Carnival Corp, said children under 5 will be allowed to sail without any need for vaccine or exemption.

The easing of the mask mandate follows similar action from cruise operator Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd and theme park Disney World.

The US CDC eased its warnings for cruise ships by a notch from the highest level two days earlier in response to a decline in onboard COVID-19 cases. (Reporting by Rachna Dhanrajani and Ann Maria Shibu in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler)