If you’re on a dive boat operating off the USA, from now on you’ll need to wear a mask to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
A new presidential executive order mandates that masks be worn on all “public maritime vessels, including ferries.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a new rule requiring all persons traveling on all commercial vessels to wear a mask.
According to the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association:
“DEMA has learned that this mandate includes all commercial vessels used for dive charters or other dive-related activities.”
Additionally, the U.S. Coast Guard has issued a Marine Safety Information Bulletin outlining these requirements.
The bulletin requires U.S. ship operators to use “best efforts” to ensure that any person on the boat wears a mask when boarding, disembarking, and for the duration of travel. Depending on the circumstances, best efforts may include:
- Boarding only those persons who wear masks.
- Instructing persons that Federal law requires wearing a mask on the conveyance and failure to comply constitutes a violation of Federal law.
- Monitoring persons on board the conveyance for anyone who is not wearing a mask and seeking compliance from such persons.
- At the earliest opportunity, disembarking any person who refuses to comply.
- Providing persons with prominent and adequate notice to facilitate awareness and compliance of the requirement of this Order to wear a mask.
- Best practices may include, if feasible, advanced notifications on digital platforms, such as on apps, websites, or email; posted signage in multiple languages with illustrations; printing the requirement on transit tickets; or other methods as appropriate.
If you have a question about the notice, you can email the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance at email@example.com.