In light of the coronavirus outbreak in China, MSC Cruises and Royal Caribbean International have announced further precautionary measures to secure the health and well-being of their guests and crew.
Royal Caribbean has announced that both pax and crew travelling from, to, or through mainland China or Hong Kong less than 15 days prior to their sailing will be barred from boarding any of its ships.
"We regret to have to do this, but due to the recent increase of coronavirus cases around the world, this precaution will help avoid the spread of this virus. We take this very seriously and have a responsibility to maintain a safe and healthy environment onboard our ships, as well as in the ports we visit," the company said, in a letter sent to booked guests.
Additionally, anyone holding a Chinese or Hong Kong passport as well as "anyone that feels unwell or demonstrates flu-like symptom" will need to undergo extra screenings.
"While these measures are conservative, our responsibility is to reduce the spread of coronavirus, in an effort to keep our ships safe and to ensure you are able to enjoy your time with us," the company said.
MSC Cruises clarified that while there are currently no cases of coronavirus on board any of its ships, the line is taking additional screening measures following previous actions that were taken 24JAN:
Guests from all nationalities are required to fill out a pre-embarkation questionnaire to ensure no-one boards their ship who has travelled from mainland China or visited mainland China in the past 30 days. Anyone who has travelled from mainland China or visited mainland China in the past 30 days will be denied access to the ship;
Mandatory non-touch thermal scans conducted for all guests and crew prior to embarkation for every cruise operated by the company anywhere in the world, and persons with signs or symptoms of illness such as fever (≥38 C°) or feverishness, chills, cough or difficulty breathing will be denied embarkation;
Elevated deep-sanitation on every ship in the line’s entire fleet;
Guests who may have fever symptoms will be isolated in their cabin and the same measure applies for their close contacts, including guests staying in the same cabin and family members, as well as any crew member who may have served these guests.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus in China, MSC Cruises says it has been closely monitoring the public health and safety situation in each of the regions its ships sail. The company has been consulting with international and local health authorities to follow their advice and recommendations.
Anna Kroupina Journalist
Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.