The Foreign Office now warns against all but essential travel to mainland China as concerns grow over the coronavirus outbreak. What does this mean for people booked to travel to the country as part of a cruise?
CLIA (the Cruise Lines International Association) has released the following statement: “The safety and health of passengers is the number one priority of CLIA members. CLIA cruise lines maintain close contact with health professionals and regulators around the world, including the World Health Organization (WHO), and are continually assessing and modifying policies and procedures as developments emerge.
“This includes the modification of itineraries, where needed, in light of evolving circumstances, as well as health, travel and contact screening and medical examinations, if appropriate, for guests and crew who have recently traveled from, to, 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.
“Importantly, the cruise industry is one of the most well-equipped and experienced when it comes to managing and monitoring health conditions. Cruise lines regularly take precautions to conduct screening of passengers and crew for illness prior to boarding, enabling the swift enhancement of these policies and procedures when circumstances demand. Furthermore, all ships implement outbreak prevention and response measures and are fitted with medical facilities and onboard medical personnel 24/7 to provide initial care in the event of illness and prevent further transmission.”
In a previous statement CLIA advised: “As with any trip, whether by land, air or sea, travellers should check with public health authorities to be informed regarding health matters at the destinations they will visit, and exercise appropriate precautions.”
If you have a cruise booked that involves travel to China and you are still unsure of what action to take, contact your travel agent or cruise line directly. Procedures will vary for each cruise company, tour operator and airline.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line will not let any guest who has visited mainland China in the last 30 days board their ships with immediate effect. These guests will receive a refund for their cruise provided proof of travel in the form of airline tickets or similar.
The cruise line will also be implementing non-touch temperature screenings for all passengers embarking in Hong Kong. Any guest who registers a body temperature of 38°C will not be allowed to board. These guests are advised to open a travel insurance claim with their insurance provider.
British Airways has suspended all flights to Beijing and Shanghai. Customers due to travel to China in the coming days, can find more information on ba.com. The airline is also re-booking passengers on rival and partner airlines.
This page will be kept updated with any statements released from cruise lines relating to the growing coronavirus concerns.