On Saturday, representatives from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and major cruise lines met with Vice President Mike Pence and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to coordinate the cruise industry’s response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Following the meeting, CLIA reported that the organization and its member lines have committed to more stringent boarding procedures, additional onboard medical resources and temperature screenings at embarkation. Additionally, the cruise industry will also develop industry-funded protocols to care for guests on land in the event of an incident. Importantly, CLIA said that this would eliminate future incidents of onboard quarantine.
Details on the plan should come this week, CLIA said.
“We thank the Vice President for a productive meeting marked by our shared focus on public health,” CLIA said in a statement following the meeting. “We are pleased to know the government agencies are prepared to work with us in developing these aggressive new measures. We expect to report back this week with further details of this enhanced approach to protecting public health.”
Shortly following the meeting, the U.S. State Department updated its travel advisory regarding the coronavirus to include cruise travel, saying that “U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship.” The Department also warned that Americans traveling overseas should not rely on U.S. government repatriation flights in the event of a quarantine.
The number of coronavirus cases worldwide also officially passed 100,000 over the weekend. According to the latest situation report from the World Health Organization, there are currently over 105,500 cases in 102 countries worldwide. There have been 3,584 deaths from the illness thus far.