The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced changes to its mask requirements for vaccinated passengers on sailings from the United States.

According to the CDC’s official website, the updated facial covering protocols provide cruise lines with more discretion regarding fully vaccinated travelers and add discretionary considerations for ships with at least 95% of crew and passengers fully vaccinated.

Cruise lines are now permitted to advise fully vaccinated passengers and crew they are no longer required to wear a mask during outdoor activities and extended meal service. The CDC also said vaccinated employees do not have to wear masks or maintain physical distance in areas of the ship that are inaccessible to passengers.

Each ship can also designate areas as only accessible to fully vaccinated passengers and crew where masks and physical distancing are not required. Travelers on vessels with at least 95% of crew and passengers fully vaccinated do not have to wear a mask or maintain physical distance in any area.

As for travelers who have not received a full vaccine, the CDC still recommends wearing a mask if they are indoors or in a crowded area. The agency also outlined requirements for test cruises with volunteer passengers earlier this month.

Earlier this week, the CDC announced it would allow Celebrity Cruises to become the first cruise line to receive approval to set sail with paying passengers on board. Celebrity Edge will depart from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on June 26 and take passengers on a seven-night paid voyage through the Caribbean.

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