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Saturday 1 February 2020

If you've visited China recently: no cruising for you

Would-be cruise passengers who have travelled in or through mainland China are now banned from all major cruise lines around the world.


Cruise Lines International Association - the world's largest cruise industry trade association - has said its members worldwide are to deny boarding to anyone who has recently travelled from, or through,China in a bid to avoid the spread of coronavirus.

The association said: "CLIA members have suspended crew movements from mainland China and will deny boarding to any individual, whether guest or crew, who has travelled from or through mainland China within the previous 14 days.

"The safety and health of passengers is the number one priority of CLIA members.

"CLIA and its member lines maintain close contact with health professionals and regulators around the world, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), and are continually assessing and modifying policies and procedures as developments emerge.

"This includes the modification of itineraries, where needed, in light of evolving circumstances, as well as health, travel and contact screening where appropriate, for guests and crew who have recently travelled from or through the affected area consistent with prevailing guidance from global health authorities.

"Screening protocols allow for informed decisions on a case-by-case basis whether a guest or crew member will be denied boarding."

All CLIA member ships must be fitted with medical facilities with shipboard and shore side medical professionals available around the clock.

Virgin Atlantic, meanwhile, has suspended its Heathrow-Shanghai service for at least 14 days.

"We continue to monitor the coronavirus situation very carefully and following the WHO declaration of a public health emergency of international concern, Virgin Atlantic has brought forward the suspension of Heathrow-Shanghai operations," it said in a statement.

"This decision has been made with the safety of customers and staff at the front of our minds. All passengers booked to travel should contact Virgin Atlantic to discuss their travel plans, with the option to receive a refund."

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