Royal Caribbean forbids passport-holders from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau from boarding its cruise ships

  • Passport-holders from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau have been banned from all Royal Caribbean cruise ships, regardless of how long ago they visited those places.

  • People who traveled "from, to, or through mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau less than 15 days prior to their sailing" will also not be allowed to board, the company wrote on its website.
  • Guests who have fever or present low blood oxygen levels in newly mandated health screenings will also not be permitted to travel.
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Royal Caribbean International on Friday banned all people with Chinese, Hong Kong, and Macau passports from boarding any of its cruise ships, irrespective of when they were there last.

This move occurred only a few hours after a cruise ship that returned from the Bahamas and was docked in Bayonne made headlines when 27 Chinese nationals were screened for coronavirus. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement that 23 of them had tested negative, while four others were being monitored at University Hospital in Newark.

The cruise ship company shared updated screening protocols on its website, saying, "These steps are intentionally conservative, and we apologize that they will inconvenience some of our guests."

The newly-tightened measures also say that people, "regardless of nationality," will be prevented from boarding any ships in the fleet if they have traveled "from, to, or through mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau less than 15 days prior to their sailing" or had contact with someone who has. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts contact at six feet, per Royal Caribbean's website. These rules impact guests and crew members alike  

People who report feeling unwell or have flu-like symptoms will undergo mandatory health screenings as will people who are unsure if they've come in contact with people who were in mainland China or Hong Kong in the past 15 days. Guests who have fever or present low blood oxygen levels in this health screening will not be permitted to board, the company said.

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