Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has issued a statement in response to developments with the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the global cruise industry. It includes an update of enhanced protocols for passenger handling, based on guidance from global health authorities, including the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Enhanced protocols for ocean-going guests and crew who have recently travelled from or through China, including Hong Kong and Macau, are in effect as of 7 February 2020, building upon those which were implemented on 31 January 2020. Informed decisions may be made on a case-by-case basis concerning whether a guest or crew member will be permitted to board.
CLIA members will deny boarding to all people who have travelled from, visited or transited via airports in China, including Hong Kong and Macau, within 14 days before embarkation.
They will also deny boarding to all people who, within 14 days before embarkation, have had close contact with, or helped care for, anyone suspected or diagnosed as having coronavirus, or who is currently subject to health monitoring for possible exposure to novel coronavirus.
CLIA members are to conduct the pre-boarding screening necessary to effectuate these prevention measures. Enhanced screening and initial medical support are to be provided, as needed, to any people exhibiting symptoms of suspected novel coronavirus.
“The health and safety of cruise passengers and crew is and remains the number-one priority of CLIA and its member lines, which make up over 90% of ocean-going cruise capacity worldwide,” CLIA stated. “In coordination with cruise lines, medical experts and regulators around the world, CLIA and its member lines will continue to closely monitor for new developments related to the coronavirus and will modify these policies as necessary with the utmost consideration for the health and safety of passengers and crew. Importantly, the cruise industry is one of the most well-equipped and experienced when it comes to managing and monitoring health conditions of those on board, with outbreak prevention and response measures in place year-round. Furthermore, ships must be fitted with onboard medical facilities, with shipboard medical professionals available around the clock, 24/7, to provide initial medical care in the event of illness and help prevent disease transmission.”