Cruise Industry Implements Tougher Coronavirus Rules

The cruise industry has announced more stringent rules regarding who will be denied boarding a cruise ship worldwide, and requirements around screening of passengers before they can get on a ship.

Logo of Cruise Lines International Association

The changes were put in place by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), a global industry organization that represents cruise lines and more than 270 cruise ships around the world. Members include major brands like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and more.

With this new announcement, all of the following procedures will be implemented on its member cruise lines:

  1. Deny boarding to all persons who have travelled from, visited or transited via airports in South Korea, Iran, 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, within 14 days prior to embarkation.
  2. Conduct illness screening for all persons who have travelled from, visited or transited via airports in any destinations listed on the U.S. CDC “Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel” page within 14 days before embarkation. Illness screening includes symptom history checks for fever, cough and difficulty breathing in the 14 days before embarkation and taking of temperature.
  3. Deny boarding to all persons who, within 14 days prior to embarkation, have 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.
  4. Conduct pre-boarding screening necessary to effectuate these prevention measures. Enhanced screening and initial medical support are to be provided, as needed, to any persons exhibiting symptoms of suspected COVID-19.

This represents an update on the rules that were put in place earlier this month. As we reported a couple of weeks ago, CLIA previously put in place rules against travelers who had recently been to China, Hong Kong or Macau.

These new rules put more countries into that restriction, including South Korea, Iran, and parts of Italy.

Individual Cruise Lines Implement Even Tougher Rules

One thing to note, however, is that these restrictions act as a baseline. Many cruise lines are implementing even tougher rules to keep their passengers healthy.

For instance, Royal Caribbean is currently denying boarding to any person that has been in contact with anyone (meaning being within six feet) who has traveled to China, Iran, South Korea, and Italy in the past 15 days.

As well, any guest who has been to any part of Italy — not just certain areas of the country — in the past two weeks won’t be allowed to board.

Virgin Voyages is denying boarding to anyone who has been to coronavirus hotspots like China and South Korea within the last 21 days, but also Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Simple Guidelines to Stay Healthy

At this point, the coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the entire travel industry, including cruises. And while the recent headlines have been bad, it is worth noting that only one cruise ship has seen a confirmed case of coronavirus at the time being.

Even so, it’s a good idea for cruise passengers to continue to use common sense while sailing in order to keep healthy. Restrictions on boarding and pre-boarding health checks may help stop potential cases of the virus, but it’s still important that you wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly, limit touching your face, and avoid anyone coughing or sneezing.

For more, see our 9 Answers About Cruising During the Coronavirus Outbreak

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