There is an ongoing outbreak of coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Currently, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has advised against all but essential travel to Wuhan city.
Frequently asked questions
Following statements from The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), please see the below FAQs based on the current outbreak of coronavirus, which are as follows:
What is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are known to cause respiratory illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Patients with the 2019-nCoV have reportedly experienced mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms including:
- Shortness of breath
- Breathing difficulties
What is 2019 novel coronavirus?
A novel coronavirus (CoV) is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. The virus at the centre of the current outbreak is an example of a novel coronavirus, as the virus does not match any other known virus. This new virus is referred to by health authorities as to the 2019 novel coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV for short.
Which countries have been affected?
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan, China, where the vast majority of confirmed cases have occurred. According to global health authorities, additional cases have been confirmed around the world, including in North America and Europe, however, the majority of confirmed cases remain confined to Asia.
How does this affect the cruise industry?
The U.K Government is advising against travel to Mainland China. As a consequence, cruise lines are having to cancel itineraries that are due to start or end at a Mainland China port. Cruise lines are also having to change itineraries where the ship was due to visit a Chinese port as part of that itinerary. There are a few sailings with ports that are in close proximity to mainland China that are also affected
No other itineraries to any other destination are affected. North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe/Mediterranean are not affected.
What do cruise lines do to manage illness?
The cruise industry is one of the most well-equipped and experienced when it comes to managing and monitoring health conditions. Cruise lines regularly take precautions to conduct screening of passengers and crew for illness prior to boarding. These are standard procedures that have been in place for many years
Cruise lines have enhanced these processes as a precautionary measure because of Novel Coronavirus. If a passenger has recently been to China, or is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms, they will not be allowed to embark the ship.
CLIA Cruise Lines are continually assessing and modifying policies and procedures as developments emerge. This includes the modification of itineraries, where needed, in light of evolving circumstances in some cases. Cruise passengers are encouraged to consult
with individual cruise lines and/or travel providers to be informed of the latest guidance available.
What travel restrictions are in place?
Many countries are refusing entry to persons who have traveled from, to or through China in the past 14 days, and often require Chinese guests to submit to additional health screenings and document review.
- BAHAMAS: No entry for anyone with prior 20-day mainland China travel, regardless of nationality.
- INDIA: No arrival visas for China passports.
- INDONESIA: No entry permitted to China passport holders.
- JAPAN: No entry permitted for China passports issued in Hubei province.
- MALAYSIA: No entry permitted for China passports issued in Hubei, Zhejiang or Jiangsu provinces.
- SINGAPORE: No entry permitted for China passport holders. Ship will be denied entry.
- SRI LANKA: No arrival visas for China passport holders.
- VIETNAM: No entry permitted for China passport Holders. Ship will be denied entry.
*Please note, these restrictions are subject to change and all may not be listed.
What steps can travellers take to protect themselves from coronavirus?
Leading health authorities are urging the same personal best practices that are standard for a typical flu season, such as the following:
- Avoid close contact with people who show signs of illness, including coughing or sneezing
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 second
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available
You can find all updates in the helpful articles and websites below: