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Carnival, Royal Caribbean cruises implement restrictions over China coronavirus

The cruise lines are not letting people board if they have recently been in China, the center of the new virus' outbreak.

WASHINGTON — Several cruise lines are not letting people sail if they have traveled in China amid the outbreak of the new coronavirus that started there.

Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean Cruises are among those that have implemented new travel restrictions this week.

Carnival says that effective Friday, all booked passengers who have traveled to, from or through China within the last two weeks before their departure date will not be allowed to sail.

The cruise line based in Miami said in an emailed statement that it is contacting customers ahead of their trips.

“Although the risk to our guests and crew is low, we are closely monitoring the evolving situation,” Carnival said.

In a statement released Thursday, Royal Caribbean says people won’t be allowed to board if they’ve traveled through mainland China or Hong Kong in the past 15 days but will get full refunds.

There will be mandatory screenings for people who have been in contact with others who have traveled in China or Hong Kong, people who have China or Hong Kong passports and those who report feeling ill or show flu-like symptoms. Anyone found with a fever or low oxygen levels in their blood during the screening will not be allowed to board, Royal Caribbean says. It added that the standards apply to all crew members and employees as well.

Royal Caribbean has canceled all China and Hong Kong trips through mid-February and is giving refunds for those cruises also.

Both cruise lines based in Miami say they are working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and other public health agencies to implement enhanced screening, prevention and control measures for ships, crews and customers. 

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Credit: AP
FILE - In this June 8, 2010 file photo, the Carnival Valor sits offshore at Georgetown, Grand Cayman. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter, file)