CLIA updates COVID-19 policy

2020-03-09T08:49:21+00:00 March 9th, 2020|Safety|

On Sunday, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)announced the adoption of additional enhanced screening measures in response to COVID-19.
As a result of these changes, which are effective immediately, CLIA members are to:
• Deny boarding to all persons who have travelled from, visited or transited via airports in South Korea, Iran, China, including Hong Kong and Macau, and any municipality in Italy subject to lockdown (quarantine) measures by the Italian Government, as designated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, within 14 days prior to embarkation.
• Conduct illness screening for all persons who have travelled from, visited or transited via airports in any destinations listed on the US CDC ‘Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel’ page within 14 days before embarkation. Illness screening includes symptom history checks for fever, cough and difficulty breathing in the 14 days before embarkation and taking of temperature.
• Conduct temperature screening, as soon as they are capable, at initial embarkation for all persons boarding. Any individual with a temperature detected at or above 38 deg C is to receive secondary screening to include a medical assessment.
• Deny boarding to all persons who, within 14 days prior to embarkation, have had contact with, or helped care for, anyone suspected or diagnosed as having COVID-19, or who are currently subject to health monitoring for possible exposure to COVID-19.
• Conduct pre-boarding screening necessary to effectuate these prevention measures. Enhanced screening and initial medical support are to be provided, as needed, to any persons exhibiting symptoms of suspected COVID-19.
In co-ordination with worldwide cruise lines, medical experts and regulators, CLIA and its member lines will continue to closely monitor for new developments related to COVID-19 and will modify these policies as necessary with the utmost consideration for the health and safety of passengers and crew.
With strict measures in place, as guided by national and international health authorities, CLIA and its member lines, in concert with pronouncements from the World Health Organisation (WHO), do not believe restrictions on the movement of ships are justified, the association stressed.
This follows the US State Department warning advising US citizens not to sail on a cruise ship.
“The adoption of these measures further demonstrates the cruise industry’s unique ability to respond quickly as circumstances evolve,” said Kelly Craighead, CLIA President and CEO (pictured). “We remain in close contact with local governments around the world, and while we regret that these changes will result in the denial of boarding for some of our guests, travellers should know that their health and safety is the absolute priority for the industry.”
This statement came a day after US Vice President, Mike Pence, had met with leading cruise line executives.
At a press conference following the meeting, Pence announced a new plan to combat coronavirus on cruiseships.
He said that there will be enhanced entry and exit screening for cruise passengers, as well as onboard testing for coronavirus..
There will also be new quarantine standards for those who took a cruise and need to be quarantined, which the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will co-ordinate.
Meanwhile, the ‘Grand Princess’, which was refused entry into San Francisco due to the virus being identified on board, is due to berth at Oakland, Calif, today after 21 people on board tested positive for the virus.
After passengers disembark, they will begin a 14-day quarantine at military bases, California Governor, Gavin Newsom, said yesterday at a news conference.
The ’Grand Princess’ has been idle off the California coast since Thursday, waiting for authorities to grant it approval to berth, as it returned from a scheduled round voyage from San Francisco to Hawaii.
Princess Cruises said early on Sunday it had been informed by state (California) and local officials that the cruise ship would be allowed to berth at Oakland on Monday.
Governor Newsom said the decision to berth the ship in Oakland was partly due to its proximity to an airport, allowing non-US passengers to return to their home countries quickly and without contact with the general public.
Another Princess Cruises line ship, ‘Regal Princess’, was being held off the coast of Florida yesterday,awaiting test results as to whether two crew members have contracted the virus.
The ship was due to berth in Port Everglades on Sunday morning but was instead sailing up and down the coast, the Miami Herald and Miami ABC affiliate WPLG-TV reported.
‘Regal Princess’’ next cruise, scheduled to leave Port Everglades for a seven-day Caribbean trip,has been cancelled.