Cruise Line Industry Enhancing Passenger Screenings Among Coronavirus Concerns

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Cruise lines don’t want coronavirus to take a trip out to sea, so they’re making some changes.

Cruise Lines International Association, which includes Royal Caribbean International and Norwegian Cruise Lines, has started new precautionary regulations with rigorous screenings of passengers and crew before they get on board.

Royal Caribbean has introduced some of the following measures:

  1. Effective Friday, March 6, mandatory temperature screenings using digital, non-touch scanners will be conducted with guests, crew members and visitors on embarkation day prior to boarding any vessel. If temperature registers about 100.4°F (38°), the person and his/her travel companions will be referred to a secondary health screening. Guests who are denied boarding due to screening results will receive compensation.

2. Regardless of nationality, boarding will be denied to:

  • Any person who has traveled from, to or through mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Italy, Iran or South Korea 15 days prior to embarkation.
  • Any person who has come in contact with anyone with 15-day prior travel to mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Italy, Iran or South Korea. The CDC characterizes contact with an individual as coming within six feet of a person.
  • Any person who within 15 days prior to embarkation, has had contact with, or helped care for, anyone suspected or diagnosed as having COVID-19, or who are currently subject to health monitoring for possible exposure to COVID-19.

3. Secondary, enhanced health screenings will be performed on:

  • Any person who reports feeling unwell or displays flu-like symptoms.
  • Any person who has traveled from, to or through Japan or Thailand in the 15 days prior to embarkation.
  • Any person who is uncertain about contact with individuals who have traveled in the 15 days prior to embarkation from, to or through mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Japan or Thailand.

With its policy, Royal Caribbean International is also allowing cancellations up to 48 hours before sailing.

Carnival Cruise Line said it's increasing monitoring, screening and sanitation protocols as well as providing options and flexibility with guests who recently booked a trip through May 31.

Passengers getting on and off cruises at the Port of Miami reacted to these protocols.

“We’re just taking precautions listening to the cruise lines, listening to what they want us to do but at the same time, making sure everybody is washing their hands,” said Chris Harrington, who is taking a cruise to the Bahamas.

“Very clean, very sanitized, always cleaning tables, chairs, everything. So they’re really trying to control everything. They even have you fill out flyers to say if you’ve been anywhere else or have any flu-like symptoms,” said Andre Llanas, who just returned from a cruise to the Bahamas.

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