Cruise lines continue to grapple with the effects of the novel coronavirus, implementing travel advisories and screening procedures (including temperature checks) to comply with the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and the Cruise Lines International Association.
This comes as more than 3,500 people are stuck on board Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess off the coast of California; the ship awaits coronavirus test results.
Officials ordered the ship to stay at bay until testing is concluded after a 71-year-old man died from coronavirus after sailing on the ship’s previous voyage.
Princess released an updated health advisory on Tuesday, which included information on travel restrictions and medical screenings as well as recommendations to wash hands often and to avoid close contact with those who have a respiratory illness.
Here’s a look at protocols the major cruise lines are adopting:
Royal Caribbean will perform mandatory and specialized health screenings on these passengers:
Anyone who says they are feeling unwell or exhibit flu-like symptoms
Anyone who was traveled from, to or through Japan or Thailand the past 15 days
Guests uncertain about contact with those who have traveled from, to or through mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, and Italy the past 15 days
All guest will have their temperatures taken. Guests presenting with a fever or low pulse will not be allowed to board. Any guest denied boarding as a result of these and other travel restrictions will receive full refunds.
“We have rigorous medical protocols in place to help passengers and crew members who feel unwell while sailing,” according to Royal Caribbean‘s latest health advisory. “Our protocols include professional medical treatment; quarantine of unwell individuals from the general ship population; and intensified ship cleaning, air filtration, and sanitization procedures.”
The cruise line will be checking every guest, crew member and visitor’s temperature with digital, non-touch scanner on embarkation day before boarding ships. Those with temperatures above 100.4 degrees Farenheit, or 38 degrees Celsius, will be sent for a secondary health screening along with their travel companions. Celebrity will give guests unable to board due to these results a refund in the form of a cruise credit.
Enhanced screenings will be performed on the same people as listed above by Royal Caribbean.
“Additional restrictions may be imposed based on local circumstances,” Celebrity Cruises’ advisory also reads. “For example, certain countries may deny visas or prohibit entry based on travel history or nationality.”
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival will not allow guests to sail if they have been to or traveled through China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, South Korea or a location under isolation measures from government health authorities in the last two weeks. For example, Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto are under CDC travel restrictions. Guests also won’t be able to sail if they have been in contact with someone suspected of having the coronavirus.
If this applies to guests, they are encouraged to call Carnival at 1-800-CARNIVAL as soon as possible to discuss before traveling for the embarkation.
Guests who visited Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam or the Lombardy and Veneto regions of Italy in the 14 days before embarkation will be subject to a medical screening that includes having their temperature checked. They will also need to show travel documentation.
“Some destinations on your itinerary may restrict or deny entry to ships carrying any person with symptoms of influenza and illness even if the symptoms do not meet the criteria set by world health experts including CDC and WHO,” according to Carnival’s advisory.
All guests are subject to “standard pre-boarding health reporting” upon check-in, though additional pre-cruise and in-terminal screenings and questionnaires will also be given. This includes pre-boarding medical evaluations; the guidelines also apply to crew, who are subject to additional screening.
Anyone who shows symptoms of the flu or an upper respiratory infection with a fever may be placed in isolation.
Carnival adds: “While you might see a few guests wearing masks, that is their choice, and it’s important to remember that culturally, some travelers wear masks as a routine matter. If you see a crew member wearing a mask, it is directly related to a task they are performing and it is an authorized piece of safety equipment.”
Oceania announced a new “Traveler’s Assurance” booking policy, effective immediately, for existing and new bookings made by April 30 for any trips departing between March 10 and Sept. 30, the cruise line said in a release Friday.
The cruise line said travelers “can now have total peace of mind knowing that should they need to cancel, for any reason, they will not lose a dollar.” Oceania said guests can cancel up to 48 hours before their cruise departs and will receive a 100% credit for the cruise fare paid toward a future cruise.
The company added that up until the day of sailing, passengers can also take advantage of any applicable public promotion that gives them a better price or amenities.
“In today’s current environment of ever-changing world events, travelers are seeking peace of mind when booking a vacation,” said Bob Binder, Oceania Cruises’ president and chief executive officer.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus: Royal Caribbean, more cruises add temperature checks