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MIAMI — CLIA member cruise lines have announced new stricter boarding policies in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
CLIA said in a statement: “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.”
Based on guidance from global health authorities including the World Health Organization CLIA members have adopted enhanced protocols for ocean-going passengers and crew who have recently traveled from or through China, including Hong Kong and Macau, building on policies put in place in late January as the outbreak ramped up …
. CLIA members will deny boarding to all passengers who have travelled from, visited or transited via airports in China, including Hong Kong and Macau, within 14 days before embarkation.
. CLIA members will deny boarding to all passengers 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 conducting pre-boarding screening measures necessary to ensure compliance with the above two conditions. CLIA says enhanced screening and initial medical support will be provided, as needed, to any passengers exhibiting symptoms of suspected novel coronavirus.
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”, in coordination with cruise lines, medical experts and regulators around the world, says the statement.
“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,” says CLIA.
One of the highest profile stories to come out of the coronavirus outbreak has been the enforced quarantine of Diamond Princess off the coast of Japan. Some 2,666 passengers, including 251 Canadians, and hundreds of crew have just passed the one-week mark of a quarantine that is now expected to last until at least Feb. 19. Passengers are confined to their staterooms. So far some 136 passengers onboard have tested positive for the virus.
Yesterday Princess Cruises announced compensation for the quarantined Diamond Princess passengers.
“Because of the extraordinary circumstances onboard Diamond Princess, Princess Cruises will refund the full cruise fare for all guests including air travel, hotel, ground transportation, pre-paid shore excursions, gratuities and other items. In addition, guests will not be charged for any onboard incidental charges during the additional time onboard.
“Princess Cruises will also provide guests with a future cruise credit equal to the cruise fare paid for the voyage which ended on February 4.
“Princess Cruises also confirmed that although all gratuities will be refunded back to guests the company will ensure crew members receive their designated gratuities for the work performed.”
Princess says passengers have been provided a letter delivered to their stateroom with details on how to process the refund.