- More than 79,500 people have contracted the coronavirus, and more than 2,600 people have died from it.
- Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, and Norwegian Cruise Line are banning people who have been to mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau in the weeks before a cruise from sailing on their ships.
- Passengers may also receive health screenings before or during their cruise.
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The Wuhan coronavirus has rocked the cruise industry, as some passengers have had their cruises cancelled, while others have been stranded or quarantined on board.
The world’s three biggest cruise lines are taking precautions to protect passengers and crew members from the virus, which has killed more than 2,600 people and infected more than 79,500.
This story has been updated to reflect that the coronavirus has now spread to more than 79,500 people and killed over 2,600, up from roughly 494 and 24,000.
“Protecting the health and safety of our guests and crew is our top priority,” a Carnival representative said.
Customers who have been in mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau in the two weeks prior to their cruise will not be allowed to board. Carnival has also introduced “enhanced screening, prevention, and control measures for our ships, guests, and crew,” but the Carnival representative did not offer further detail about them.
Royal Caribbean cancelled all cruises in China and Hong Kong through the end of February.
For all other cruises, anyone who meets any of the following criteria will not be allowed to board:
- Has been in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, South Korea, Lombardy, or Veneto in the 15 days prior to their cruise.
- Has come within six feet of someone who has been to China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, South Korea, Lombardy, or Veneto in the last 15 days.
- Reports feeling ill or shows symptoms that resemble the flu.
Customers in that group will have their trip refunded.
The following groups will be required to receive health screenings:
- People who have been in Japan, Singapore, Thailand, or Italy (aside from Lombardy and Veneto) in the 15 days before their cruise.
- People who may have been within six feet of anyone who has been to mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, or Italy in the last 15 days.
If a guest is found to have a fever or low blood oximetry, they will not be allowed to board the ship.
“These steps are intentionally conservative,” a Royal Caribbean representative said. “We apologise for the inconvenience created by these precautionary measures.”
Norwegian Cruise Line has cancelled all of its cruises in Asia through September.
“The safety, security and well-being of our guests and crew is our number one priority,” said a representative for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, the parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line.
Customers and crew members who have been to mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau in the 30 days before their cruise will not be allowed to board. Customers in that group will receive a refund.
For those still planing to sail, passengers who appear to have coronavirus symptoms will be evaluated before boarding. Passengers who show symptoms of any respiratory illness on board will receive a coronavirus screening and may be quarantined or removed from their ship, and Norwegian ships will receive more thorough cleanings and disinfection procedures.
- Read more:
- The cruise industry has been rocked by the coronavirus. Here’s you how can find out if your ship has been impacted.
- Ex-Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line workers reveal the things they couldn’t live without on board
- The CDC recommends 3 things you can do to keep from getting Wuhan coronavirus, and 3 things you should not do
- The hardest job on a cruise ship can lead to blindness and burned skin from dangerous chemicals, according to a lawyer who represents cruise ship workers