State Department warns Americans against cruise ship travel
The Grand Princess cruise ship, carrying 21 people infected with the novel coronavirus, about 25 miles off the coast of San Francisco on Sunday. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images
The State Department issued an advisory Sunday warning U.S. citizens against traveling on cruise ships after a second vessel carrying American citizens was impacted by cases of the novel coronavirus.
Details: "U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship," the statement warns. "CDC notes increased risk of infection of COVID-19 in a cruise ship environment."
"In some cases, local authorities have permitted disembarkation but subjected passengers to local quarantine procedures. While the U.S. government has evacuated some cruise ship passengers in recent weeks, repatriation flights should not be relied upon as an option for U.S. citizens under the potential risk of quarantine by local authorities."— State Department advisory
What they're saying: Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), an industry trade group, said in a statement to Reuters Friday, when the news agency reported the U.S. was weighing the advisory, "Singling out the travel and tourism industry, and cruise lines specifically, will have significant detrimental impacts — some possibly irreversible — on the national and local economies."
- CLIA said in a statement Sunday it would adopt "additional enhanced screening measures" in response to COVID-19 — including denying boarding to anyone who's traveled from, visited or transited via airports in South Korea, Iran, China, including Hong Kong and Macao, and any municipality in Italy subject to the lockdown within 14 days before embarkation.
- The group said it would conduct illness screenings for anyone who's traveled from, visited or transited via airports in destinations listed on the CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel page within 14 days before boarding.
The big picture: The Grand Princess cruise ship, stranded off San Francisco's coast with 21 people aboard who've tested positive for the novel coronavirus, has been cleared to dock in Oakland, California, on Monday, according to operator Princess Cruises.
- The company also operates the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was quarantined off the coast of Yokohama, Japan, last month after a coronavirus outbreak that infected more than 700 people.
- Last month, hundreds of people who were aboard the Westerdam cruise ship, operated by Holland America Line, underwent coronavirus tests in Cambodia after an 83-year-old American woman initially tested positive for the virus in Kuala Lumpur. She later returned a negative result.