Major cruise line companies boosted their passenger screening procedures and issued travel advisories in order to ensure that their customers are not affected by China's coronavirus outbreak.
The virus appeared in Wuhan China in December 2019 and so far 17 people have died and ~600 are infected. The virus is of the same family as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome of which died ~700 people almost 2 decades ago.
NCL-Norwegian introduced non-touch temperature screenings for all cruise passengers boarding its vessels from ports in China to prevent the spread of infection. The company said that people who have a body temperature of 38˚C (100.4˚F) will not be allowed to board the vessel. In addition, guests who have visited or stayed at Wuhan during the past 30 days will be denied access to the cruise ship.
Astro Ocean Cruises (ship operator of Piano Land) announced it would fully refund the cruise fare to passengers who have been infected by the coronavirus. The company added that travellers departing from the virus epicentre, Wuhan, would also be given refunds in case they cannot board the vessel, citing ‘pneumonia-related management measures’. Medical personnel who can’t sail can change the date of the trip or can receive a refund.
Costa Cruises issued a similar announcement and is working with authorities at the port in order to increase the screening procedures for cruisers who may have a fever. The virus outbreak dented stock values of cruise companies like CCL-Carnival, RCCL-Royal Caribbean and NCLH.
Airports around the globe started screening passengers arriving from China for the coronavirus.