Carnival says not taking stance on mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for travelers

FILE PHOTO: The Carnival Panorama cruise ship sits docked, empty of passengers, as the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Long Beach, California, U.S., April 16, 2020. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

(Reuters) - Carnival Corp, the world’s largest cruise operator, is currently not taking a position on mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for passengers before traveling, a company spokesman told Reuters on Tuesday.

The company’s statement comes just a day after rival Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd said it would mandate travelers be vaccinated under a proposed plan to restart U.S. cruises in July.

The U.S. cruise industry is currently under a “no-sail order” from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Last week, the agency updated its guidance for the resumption of passenger voyages, which included the need for COVID-19 vaccinations and more frequent reporting of coronavirus infections from cruise operators.

However, Carnival said on Monday the guideline was “largely unworkable and stood in stark contrast to the approach taken in other travel and tourism sectors.”

Norwegian and Royal Caribbean Group have both said they would restart cruises from the Caribbean later this year with vaccinated passengers.

“We continue to closely monitor the evolving situation with vaccines globally,” a Carnival spokesman said in an emailed statement.

Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.