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Published on Friday, February 7, 2020

Cruise lines step up coronavirus safeguards



Cruise lines have stepped up the fight against the spread of coronavirus by agreeing updated industry-wide safeguards.





New steps, implemented from today, will see cruise lines 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. 


CLIA members are also denying boarding to everyone 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 the disease.


In addition, cruise lines are to 'conduct preboarding screening necessary to effectuate these prevention measures'. Enhanced screening and initial medical support are to be provided, as needed, to anyone exhibiting symptoms of suspected 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. 


"Given the evolving nature of the ongoing 2019-novel coronavirus outbreak—and based upon prevailing guidance from global health authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO)—CLIA Members have adopted the following enhanced protocols for ocean-going guests and crew who have recently travelled from or through China, including Hong Kong and Macau.


"These enhanced policies, which are in effect as of February 7, 2020, build upon those which were implemented on January 2020 31 and continue to allow for informed decisions on a case-by-case basis whether a guest or crewmember will be permitted to board."


 CLIA added: "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 onboard, 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."

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