Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), is a nearly 50 year old organization, which is the world's largest cruise trade industry associated. All major cruise lines are members, along with countless other businesses and professionals. They've just released a new statement about the industry's efforts in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. You can read their statement below, and our thoughts at the bottom of the post.
CLIA Statement on Novel Coronavirus
WASHINGTON, DC (7 FEB 2020)—Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the leading voice of the global cruise industry, issued today the following statement in response to recent developments concerning the 2019-novel coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the global cruise industry.
“The health and safety of cruise passengers and crew is and remains the number one priority of CLIA and its member lines, which make up over 90% of ocean-going cruise capacity worldwide.
Given the evolving nature of the ongoing 2019-novel coronavirus outbreak—and based upon prevailing guidance from global health authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO)—CLIA Members have adopted the following enhanced protocols for ocean-going guests and crew who have recently traveled from or through China, including Hong Kong and Macau. These enhanced policies, which are in effect as of 7 February 2020, build upon those which were implemented on 31 January 2020 and continue to allow for informed decisions on a case-by-case basis whether a guest or crewmember will be permitted to board.
CLIA Members are to deny boarding to all persons who have traveled from, visited or transited via airports in China, including Hong Kong and Macau, within 14 days before embarkation.
CLIA Members are to deny boarding to all persons who, within 14 days before embarkation, have had close contact with, or helped care for, anyone suspected or diagnosed as having Coronavirus, or who is currently subject to health monitoring for possible exposure to Novel Coronavirus.
CLIA Members are to conduct preboarding 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 Novel Coronavirus.
In coordination with cruise lines, medical experts and regulators around the world, CLIA and its member lines will continue to closely monitor for new developments related to the coronavirus and will modify these policies as necessary with the utmost consideration for the health and safety of passengers and crew. Importantly, the cruise industry is one of the most well-equipped and experienced when it comes to managing and monitoring health conditions of those onboard, with outbreak prevention and response measures in place year-round. Furthermore, ships must be fitted with onboard medical facilities, with shipboard medical professionals available around the clock, 24/7, to provide initial medical care in the event of illness and help prevent disease transmission.”
In the past weeks, as expected, the spread of novel coronavirus has continued. There have been two ships quarantined in Asia, and a variety of cancellations, itinerary changes, and more. It is in the best interest of the cruise industry to ensure they're diligent in helping reduce the spread of the disease. The same is true for health organizations, governments, and other large companies. For individuals, the recommendations from the WHO, CDC and others remain clear: practice thorough and frequent hand-washing, and avoid contact with potentially infected persons.
The statement from CLIA outlines just some of what cruise lines are doing - but individual lines and countries may implement additional restrictions and procedures as they see fit, such as Royal Caribbean's recent announcement to prohibit all holders of Chinese passports or the restriction the Bahamas has put on persons entering who have recently been to China.
Remember that as we mentioned last week, for those in North America, as an individual concern today, the flu is still far more pervasive and dangerous illness. (See more here: Traveling? Be Aware of Coronavirus, But Focus on Influenza). Ultimately, traveling or not, in any part of the world, follow the guidance of your government health organizations, such as the CDC, as well as that of your healthcare providers, and please, wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.