Coronavirus Causes Cruise Line to Ban Guests With Chinese Passports

After canceling up to eight cruises earlier this week in response to the coronavirus outbreak, Royal Caribbean announced on Friday it’s banning any guests with Chinese, Hong Kong or Macau passports from boarding its ships until further notice.

Royal Caribbean’s announcement also included the cruise line’s 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 cruise line said in a statement. “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.”

In addition, current passengers who may have been or are unsure if they have been in contact with anyone who has traveled through China or Hong Kong in the past 15 days will be screened before departure.

Guests who are not feeling well or exhibit flu-like symptoms will also be screened. Any guest whose health screening reveals a fever or low blood-oxygen level will be denied boarding.

This new measure has come about after several passengers aboard the cruise line’s Anthem of the Seas ship were screened for the virus. Anthem of the Seas is currently anchored at the Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne.

Four passengers were tested for the illness at Newark’s University Hospital on Friday. According to a spokesperson for Royal Caribbean, none of the passengers showed “any clinical signs or symptoms of coronavirus,” but one passenger did test positive for influenza A.

New passengers were supposed to board Anthem of the Seas for a new departure; however, the departure has been delayed until Saturday. Guests will receive a one-day refund in the form of an onboard credit.

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