Coronavirus Prompts Royal Caribbean to Ban Chinese, Hong Kong, and Macau Passport Holders

Royal Caribbean on Friday banned anyone holding passports from China, Hong Kong, or Macau from its ships amid the worsening coronavirus outbreak.

The new virus infected 61 people on a Princess Cruises ship docked at Yokohama near Tokyo, Japan, officials there said on Friday. Four people on a Royal Caribbean ship docked in New Jersey were taken to a hospital for evaluation after showing signs of the virus on Friday.

The new ban on passport holders applies even if the holders havent been to their home regions in a while, Royal Caribbean said in a statement.

Additionally, anyone—regardless of nationality—who has traveled to China, Hong Kong, or Macau less than 15 days before trying to board a Royal Caribbean ship will be barred from entry. And any guest or crew member that has been in contact, or within six feet, of someone that has traveled from, to, or through mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau less than 15 days ago will also be barred from boarding.

Passengers who arent sure if theyve been in contact with such people will be required to undergo a specialized health screening, as well any passengers who report feeling unwell or show flu-like symptoms.

Countries across the world as well as airlines and other countries have taken action amid the coronavirus outbreak, restricting travel, cutting flights, and implementing testing at airports, train stations, and borders.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
A man on Royal Caribbeans Anthem of the Seas in Bayonne, New Jersey, on Feb. 7, 2020. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

Royal Caribbeans announcement came as Japan refused to allow a Carnival ship from calling at its ports even though there were no confirmed cases on board.

The Westerdam cruise ship is “currently in a holding pattern off the coast of Japan, southeast of Okinawa, while we are working to finalize a new port of disembarkation,” said Holland America, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp., in a statement on Thursday.

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