From 6th April, the US Department of Homeland Security and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have restricted cruise ship passengers and crew arriving in the country by sea from boarding domestic commercial flights.
These restrictions also apply to people who are not showing virus symptoms and they will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period.
An administration official told CNN last week that these new protocols would likely be agreements between cruise ship companies and the US Government, requiring that they be followed in order before the ships berth at specific ports.
That official added that there could be a range of exceptions and specific circumstances, specifically as it relates to non-US citizens on the ships.
These restrictions came after hundreds of arriving Holland America Line cruise passengers at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, were allowed to fly with commercial airlines, raising concerns from other travellers.
The CDC and Florida officials claimed that disembarking passengers were screened before being allowed to leave the ports of entry. However, sick passengers remained in Florida.
These new restrictions will limit cruise passengers and crew to only flying on charter aircraft or using private transportation.
A spokesperson for Carnival Corp told CNN, “Princess Cruises is working around the clock to arrange small group charters and individual car transport for its US guests to comply with the updated CDC guidelines in order to disembark a wide number of guests from the ship. Princess has already begun the process with an earlier charter flight already underway – that included individuals from California – and additional charter flights scheduled for later tonight that include international guests.”
The cruise industry is obliged to care for and to provide safety and welfare of their seafarers, US officials added.