Mask Mandate on U.S. Dive Vessels Continues

Empty Dive Boat
Empty Dive Boat

Just because COVID-19 vaccinations are on the rise in the USA, doesn’t mean mask mandates aren’t still in place on U.S. commercial dive vessels.

According to a new note from the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association:

“Even though the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has lifted some mask restrictions for persons vaccinated for COVID-19, commercial dive vessels are commercial maritime conveyances and all persons traveling on such vessels within, into, or out of the United States are subject to the current mask order. The latest order is set to expire on September 13.

“According to the CDC Guidance, the term commercial maritime conveyance means all forms of commercial maritime vessels, including but not limited to cargo ships, fishing vessels, research vessels, self-propelled barges, and all forms of passenger carrying vessels including ferries, river cruise ships, and those chartered for fishing trips, unless otherwise exempted.”

The mask mandate went into effect in January and was recently updated, but dive vessels are subject to a U.S. presidential executive Order that deals with “Domestic and International Travel.” That order “mandates that masks be worn on all ‘public maritime vessels, including ferries’ to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19,” according to DEMA.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a separate order requiring all persons traveling on all commercial vessels to wear a mask.

In February, the U.S. Coast Guard issued a “Marine Safety Information Bulletin” outlining these requirements.

The latest order is set to expire on September 13th, 2021.

For more info if you’re a dive boat owner, you can email the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance at [email protected].