Cruise lines are implementing enhanced protocols for guests and crew from March 3, expanding the list of banned countries and enforcing stricter pre-boarding screening.
Many of them have followed CLIA’s advisory but individual lines also have additional measures introduced.
Boarding will be denied to all persons who have within 14 days before embarkation travelled from, visited or transited via airports in Iran, South Korea and China, including Hong Kong and Macau, and any municipality in Italy subject to lockdown (quarantine) measures by the Italian Government, as designated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) advises in the latest update.
Pre-boarding screening will also be conducted for all persons who have within 14 days before embarkation traveled from, visited or transited via airports in any destinations listed on the US CDC “Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel” page. The currently listed countries include China, Iran, South Korea, Italy and Japan.
Illness screening includes symptom history checks for fever, cough and difficulty breathing in the 14 days before embarkation and taking of temperature.
Boarding will be denied to all persons who have within 14 days before embarkation 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 COVID-19.
Pre-boarding screening will be conducted to effectuate these prevention measures. Enhanced screening and initial medical support are to be provided, as needed, to any person exhibiting symptoms of suspected COVID-19, says CLIA.
Additional measures by cruise lines
Cruise lines have also announced a number of new measures in addition to CLIA’s advisory this week.
Princess Cruises measures include having shipboard staff to scan passports to verify transit through any of the prohibited areas.
“Given the serious nature of these circumstances, false responses on pre-boarding documents will result in immediate disembarkation at the next opportunity. Guests who do not disclose travel through prohibited areas may also face additional legal consequences,” writes Princess Cruises in their statement.
Carnival Cruise Line
The cruise line is also subjecting guests who have visited or travelled through Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand or Vietnam in the 14 days prior to embarkation to additional screening.
The line also warns that some destinations may also deny or restrict entry to ships carrying people with symptoms of influenza and illness.
“Some destinations on your client’s itinerary may restrict or deny entry to ships carrying any person with symptoms of influenza and illness even if the symptoms do not meet the criteria set by world health experts including CDC and WHO – and would therefore not even be required to be evaluated or tested for the illness in the United States or most places around the world,” says the line in an email to travel agents.
“While we will work to minimise these incidents, we do not have control over these decisions. Carnival will comply with all required guidelines that may be implemented by individual destinations that may require itinerary changes.”
Carnival Cruises’ travel advisory on their website also clarifies the different travel restrictions for Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji.
Per Vanuatu’s requirements, guests who have been to the following countries in the last 14 days prior to arrival in Vanuatu cannot board a Carnival ship that is visiting Vanuatu: Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Italy and Iran.
Per New Caledonia’s requirements, guests who have been to the following countries in the last 14 days prior to arrival in New Caledonia cannot go ashore in New Caledonia: Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore (unless transited only), South Korea (unless transited only), Iran (unless transited only), Italy (unless transited only), Spain (unless transited only), Germany (unless transited only) & Egypt (unless transited only).
Per Fiji’s requirements, guests who have been to the following countries in the last 14 days prior to arrival in Fiji cannot board a Carnival ship that is visiting Fiji: Mainland China, South Korea, Italy, Iran.
On MSC Cruises, for guests embarking on MSC Bellissima and MSC Lirica from Dubai only, on top of the regular restrictions, the line is also denying boarding to anyone who lives in, or has travelled to, from or through Japan, Singapore and South Korea.
This restriction does not apply if guests have only transited in sterile areas in Singapore, Japan and South Korea airports.