Cruise company Royal Caribbean has announced that it is banning all passengers with Chinese, Hong Kong and Macau passports from boarding their ships.
In a statement released by the company they announced new “health-screening protocols”.
“Any guests holding a Chinese, Hong Kong, or Macau passport, regardless of when they were there last, will not be allowed to board our ships,” the statement said. “Regardless of nationality, any guest or crewmember traveling from, to, or through mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau less than 15 days prior to their sailing will be unable to board any of our ships.”
Royal Caribbean also states that they are taking proactive steps to maintain cleanliness, including sanitizing the cruise ship terminal before and after every sailing, and sanitizing high traffic areas onboard multiple times a day.
As of the time of publication, there are 31,534 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, and 639 fatalities.
Only hours before, 27 people were quarantined onboard the cruise ship Anthem of the Seas, which is now docked in New Jersey.
Anthem of the Seas was due to depart on Friday, but they have postponed it for a day to wait for conclusive test results from the CDC on whether any of the passengers onboard were infected with the coronavirus.
There will be mandatory health screenings performed on passengers who are unsure if they have been in contact with anyone who has traveled from, to or through China or Hong Kong in the past 15 days.
In addition, passengers who report feeling unwell or demonstrate any flu-like symptoms, or guest who have fewer or low blood oximetry in the health screening will be denied boarding on all Royal Caribbean ships.
They also announced that passengers will get a 1-day refund in the form of onboard credit because of the shortened sailing due to the delay of testing for coronavirus. In case passengers pre-purchased packages such as beverage, internet, or dining, they will also get a pro-rated credit.
The ship is now due to set sail from Cape Liberty at 5:00 PM on Saturday.