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Coronavirus: Cruise Ships Won't Allow Passengers On Board Who Have Been Through China Recently

(photo courtesy of Port Canaveral).
(photo courtesy of Port Canaveral).

Cruise ships are tightening travel restrictions for passengers and workers in an effort to contain the Wuhan coronavirus.

The Cruise Lines International Association said its member cruise lines will not allow crew member movement from China. Additionally, guests and crew members who are coming from China -- or have traveled through China in the last two weeks -- will not be allowed onto ships.

"Importantly, the cruise industry is one of the most well-equipped and experienced when it comes to managing and monitoring health conditions of passengers and crew," the statement reads. "CLIA members implement outbreak prevention and response measures and their ships must be fitted with medical facilities, shipboard and shore side medical professionals available around the clock, 24/7, to provide initial medical care in the event of illness and prevent disease transmission.”

The Cruise Lines International Association says it represents 95 percent of the cruise ship industry. It’s not yet clear what the impact will be on passengers. Carnival Cruise Lines, for example, said it is contacting booked guests ahead of departure.

"Although the risk to our guests and crew is low, we are closely monitoring the evolving situation with respect to coronavirus," Carnival Cruise Line said in a statement. "We are contacting booked guests ahead of their departure and have also implemented enhanced procedures at all our homeports.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that 11 patients in five U.S. states have been confirmed to have the virus; no cases have been reported in Florida. Test results are pending on another 82 patients.

The new guidelines started after the World Health Organization declared the Wuhan coronavirus a “public health emergency of international concern.”

That caused the U.S. Coast Guard to require all boats to report if any passengers or crew have been sick or died in the last 15 days.