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Carnival Cruises have reintroduced mandatory mask wearing on ships after a spike in Covid cases – with health officials set to bring back face coverings across the country.

Carnival management said in a statement that ‘out of an abundance of caution’ masks would return to ‘adapt to the evolving public health situation’. 

Passengers must now wear them onboard in all public indoor spaces, outdoors when in large groups where physical distancing isn’t possible and also when they are embarking or disembarking from the ship. 

Another cruise ship, The Majestic Princess, sailed into Sydney with 800 infected passengers on-board last week. 

And the nations seems to be once again in the midst of a massive Covid outbreak after health officials urged the public to wear face masks indoors and on public transport. 

While masks have never stopped being recommended in crowded places or on public transport, officials are now renewing calls for people to wear them in light of the surging infection rates.

Carnival Cruises have reintroduced mandatory mask wearing on ships after a spike in Covid cases.

Carnival Cruises have reintroduced mandatory mask wearing on ships after a spike in Covid cases. 

Australia is once again in the midst of a massive Covid outbreak and health officials have urged the public to wear face masks indoors and on public transport (pictured, Sydney commuters)

Australia is once again in the midst of a massive Covid outbreak and health officials have urged the public to wear face masks indoors and on public transport (pictured, Sydney commuters)

Jimmy Barnes was scheduled to sign copies of his new album Blue Christmas at Penrith Panthers Leagues Club on November 26. But the 66-year-old Cold Chisel founder ditched the gig citing reasons of public safety

Jimmy Barnes was scheduled to sign copies of his new album Blue Christmas at Penrith Panthers Leagues Club on November 26. But the 66-year-old Cold Chisel founder ditched the gig citing reasons of public safety

Carnival Cruise passengers aren’t required to wear masks when they are eating or drinking. 

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‘Our dedication to the health and safety of our guests, crew, and the communities we visit is reflected in our Have Fun. Be Safe. protocols and procedures, which were developed in consultation with our medical experts and have proven effective and adaptable to the evolving public health situation,’ a statement from Carnival Cruises said.

‘In line with government protocols, until further notice, we will operate vaccinated cruises with our enhanced protocols. All our operations will follow these guidelines so we can maintain the confidence of the destinations we visit and deliver on our itineraries and guest experience.

‘Out of an abundance of caution, for the time being, masks are required.’

Although there are no new official health orders in place, authorities across the country are growing increasingly cautious after an 80 per cent uptick in cases in some states as mutated variants of the virus run rampant.

New South Wales saw 27,869 new cases in the week leading up to November 17, up from 16,636 the week before – which itself was a 63 per cent increase – prompting a warning from Chief Public Health Officer Kerry Chant.

The wave of infections has prompted Aussie rock music legend Jimmy Barnes to cancel a personal appearance in Western Sydney.

The Scottish-born singer was scheduled to sign copies of his new album Blue Christmas at Penrith Panthers Leagues Club on November 26.

But the 66-year-old Cold Chisel founder ditched the gig citing reasons of public safety, The Western Weekender reported.

Australia, Spain, and the UK are among the only countries where there is no mandatory isolation for people who test positive – with most imposing between five and seven.

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BA.5, BA.2.75, XBB, and BQ.1 are among the strains circulating in the community, driving up infections, and evading immunity from vaccinations and past infections.

Meanwhile, travellers heading up to the northern hemisphere were advised by NSW Health to make sure their Covid-19 and flu vaccinations were up to date. 

But while infection rates are rising fast they are well below this year’s high Omicron peaks in January, April and July.

These months saw the seven-day rolling average of case numbers of 47,543, 21,000 and 14,700, respectively. 

Nation Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly on Monday said this fourth Omicron wave wreaking havoc on Australia is set to hit its peak in the coming weeks and will likely decline sharply – as medical data from Singapore’s recent wave suggests.

In the last week, 39 people deaths were related to Covid – with a further 37 people in NSW ICU. 

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