Given the evolving nature of the ongoing 2019-novel coronavirus outbreak—and based upon prevailing guidance from global health authorities — CLIA ocean cruise line members have adopted the following enhanced protocols for guests and crew who have recently travelled from or through China, including Hong Kong and Macau.
These enhanced policies, which came into effect as of 7 February 2020, build upon those which were implemented on 31 January 2020 and continue to allow for informed decisions on a case-by-case basis whether a guest or crewmember will be permitted to board.
- Boarding will be denied to all persons who have travelled from, visited or transited via airports in China, including Hong Kong and Macau, within 14 days before embarkation.
- Boarding will be denied to all persons 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.
- Preboarding screening will be conducted to effectuate these prevention measures. Enhanced screening and initial medical support are to be provided, as needed, to any persons exhibiting symptoms of suspected Novel Coronavirus.
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.
The health and safety of passengers and crews is, and must remain, the top priority for the cruise industry. These measures, while more restrictive than our previously announced enhanced protocols enacted on 31 January, are intended to reflect the industry’s commitment to ensuring necessary precautions are in place as the situation continues to evolve.
This is an ongoing challenge for many sectors, including the cruise industry. However, it is important to note that cruise lines have extensive experience monitoring the health of passengers, providing care as needed, and responding as necessary to evolving circumstances. Individual cruise lines will be able to advise of their specific measures and matters that may relate to their own guests and operations.
Globally, the majority of cruise itineraries are continuing to operate as normal.
As an industry we are working to reassure guests that right now, our number one priority is the health and safety of passengers and crew. This is undoubtedly a challenging moment for the entire travel industry—and one which is being taken very seriously by all. Cruise lines are constantly monitoring the situation as it rapidly develops and will continue to adapt, as needed, to provide for the needs of guests and crew.
How are cruise lines screening passengers for illness?
CLIA cruise lines conduct passenger screenings—including, in some cases, non-touch temperature readings—where appropriate, for guests and crew who have recently travelled from or through the affected area consistent with prevailing guidance from global health authorities. Screening protocols allow for informed decisions on a case-by-case basis whether a guest or crewmember will be denied boarding.
What measures are in place onboard cruise ships in the event of passenger or crew illness?
Importantly, the cruise industry is one of the most well-equipped and experienced when it comes to managing and monitoring health conditions of passengers and crew. Cruise lines take precautions to conduct passive as well as active screening of passengers and crew for illness prior to boarding when circumstances demand. Furthermore, CLIA members implement outbreak prevention and response measures and their ships must be fitted with medical facilities, shipboard and shore side medical professionals available around the clock, 24/7, to provide initial medical care in the event of illness and prevent disease transmission.
Are cruise lines changing their itineraries due to Coronavirus ?
CLIA cruise lines are continually assessing and modifying policies and procedures as developments emerge. This includes the modification of itineraries, where needed, in light of evolving circumstances in some cases. Cruise passengers are encouraged to consult with individual cruise lines to be informed of the latest information available.
What guidance are cruise ships following when making determinations regarding route restrictions?
CLIA and its member lines maintain close contact with leading global health authorities, and are also in contact with port authorities around the world to ensure alignment on guidance and procedures.
Are travellers entitled to a refund if they choose to cancel their cruise?
Prior to cancelling a cruise, travellers should always consult with their travel insurer and review the specific cancellation terms and conditions of the cruise line. If the cruise is operating, then in most cases the traveller would not be entitled to a refund. If the cruise has been impacted by a specific travel advisory, then travellers are encouraged to consult with individual cruise lines with regard to cancellation policies.
What steps can travellers take to protect themselves from Coronavirus?
Leading health authorities are urging the same personal best practices that are standard for a typical flu season, such as the following:
- Avoid close contact with people who show signs of illness, including coughing or sneezing
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available
Where can you and your clients find additional information about Coronavirus?
Please visit the following websites for more information:
Australian Government Department of Health
New Zealand Ministry of Health
World Health Organization
100% of CLIA ocean cruise line ships are required to have medical facilities with highly trained medical professionals and doctors available 24/7
There are 272 CLIA cruise line ships - the majority are operating as normal. CLIA cruise line ships follow policies and procedures which in many cases exceed those required by law
The majority of cruises continue to operate as normal. Each day there are nearly 600k guests on average on CLIA cruise line ships
Passengers and crew on CLIA cruise line ships are carefully screened before they board
100% of CLIA ocean cruise lines are employing enhanced screenings to ensure the safety and well-being of passengers and crew
The health and safety of guests and crew is always the number 1 priority for CLIA cruise lines