Carnival Cruise Line is banning certain customers and issuing mandatory pre-boarding temperature checks after Princess’ ships were hit by a massive coronavirus outbreak

Carnival Cruise Line will now take the temperature of all guests during check-in. John Halley / Reuters
  • Carnival Cruise Line is adopting protective protocols amidst the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.
  • The cruise line’s sister line Princess Cruises, which is also owned by Carnival Corp, shuttered operations for two months after two of its ships were quarantined due to COVID-19 outbreaks.
  • Prospective Carnival Cruise Line passengers who have been to Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan at least 20 days before a cruise will be “subject to additional medical screening” at the cruise terminal.
  • Anyone who visited China, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Italy, Iran, Japan, or Singapore in the 20 days before setting sail on a cruise will not be permitted on the ship.
  • The line will also be introducing temperature-checks and new medical screenings at its cruise terminals.
  • Onboard, Carnival employees will now be stationed at the ship’s Lido buffet and ice cream stations.
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Carnival Cruise Lines is instituting a number of protocols in response to the coronavirus outbreak, including barring certain guests from disembarking and mandating temperature check-ins and pre-cruise screenings for others during boarding.

On March 12, Carnival Cruise Line’s president Christine Duffy sent out an email to recent customers, outlining a number of measures to prevent outbreaks. Carnival did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

All customers who “have been to or travelled through China, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Italy, Iran, Japan, Singapore in the last 20 days prior to embarkation” will be banned from Carnival Cruise Line ships, as will anyone who has been “in contact” with someone tested for the coronavirus.

Any guests who have been in Thailand, Vietnam, or Taiwan at least 20 days before their cruise launch date will be asked to go through passport verification and are now “subject to additional medical screening when they arrive at the cruise terminal.”

Duffy wrote that the company will expand its sanitary protocols both during check-in and on the ships themselves. All prospective passengers will undergo a temperature check before boarding the ship. Anyone with a temperature over 37.8⁰C will be pulled aside for a secondary screening by medical staffers on hand at the cruise terminal.

“Additional pre-cruise and in-terminal screenings and questionnaires will be administered, including pre-boarding medical evaluations, as needed,” Duffy wrote, in addition to the line’s standard pre-boarding health reporting.

These new protocols also apply to Carnival crew members. Onboard the ship, workers will now be either monitoring or serving the Lido buffet and ice cream stations.

The email also noted that Carnival Cruise Line may also be required to reroute certain voyages.

“You should also know that some destinations may decide to restrict or deny entry to ships carrying any person with symptoms of influenza and illness even if the symptoms do not meet criteria set by world health experts,” Duffy wrote. “Since we are required to comply in these instances, it may be necessary to cancel our visit to those ports.”

In the email, Duffy said the Centres for Disease Control are “recommending that older adults and those with underlying health concerns reschedule their travel plans for a later time,” adding that the cruise line acknowledges that elderly guests “will have to make an individual decision” on whether they want to travel. The message also advised affected customers who meet “any of this criteria” to phone 1-800-CARNIVAL to review travel options.

The Carnival Cruise Line president wrote that the line’s senior leadership team and Miami-based Fleet Operations Centre employees are working closely with the Cruise Lines International Association and public health officials to determine “the most effective measures to monitor, screen and protect the health of our guests and crew.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has sunk the cruise ship industry into chaos. In response to the coronavirus outbreak, consumers who’ve booked cruises have begun to express concerns about their travel plans on social media. And the email from the Carnival Cruise Lines president was circulated in the wake of its sister line Princess’ decision to shutter operations for two months. Both lines are owned by parent company Carnival Corp., along with the Holland America Line, Seabourn, P&O Cruises, Costa Cruises, and AIDA Cruises.

“At Carnival, we’ve always considered our guests as part of the Carnival family and taking care of each other is at the heart of our mission,” Duffy wrote. “Your safety and well-being, and that of our crew and the residents of the destinations we visit, remains our highest priority.”

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