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Coronavirus: Royal Caribbean taking temperature of all cruise passengers before setting sail

Cruise line to use digital, no-touch thermometer

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. – Royal Caribbean announced Thursday it will start taking the temperatures of all passengers getting on board its cruise ships and then conduct secondary screenings, if necessary, to ensure no one possibly sick from the coronavirus sets sail.

The new change, implemented Friday, impacts Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas ships, both of which make stops in Port Canaveral.

Royal Caribbean said the temperatures of passengers will be taken with a digital, no-touch thermometer.

If a guest’s temperature is above 100.4°F (38° C), the passenger and their party will undergo a secondary health screening, according to the cruise line.

Royal Caribbean said here’s what will happen during the secondary screening:

  • Your temperature will be checked again.
  • You’ll undergo a pulse oximetry reading. This means a device will be placed on your finger to measure your oxygen level.
  • If you happen to have a chronic lung illness, like asthma, please bring a letter from your medical practitioner that indicates your normal baseline oxygen saturation levels. This will help ensure you are not denied boarding if you are healthy otherwise.
  • Then, a medical professional will check you for flu-like symptoms, respiratory illness, etc..., and would make a final assessment to understand if you’re fit to sail.

“If it is decided that we must unfortunately deny you boarding, you’ll receive a 100% future cruise credit for your cruise fare paid, and any pre-cruise Royal Caribbean International purchases and taxes and fees will be refunded to your original form of payment,” the company said in a news release.

In addition to the new change, the company said it will add extra medical staff on each ship and sanitize the cruise ship terminal before and after every trip.

Carnival Cruise Lines also implemented screen procedures prior to guests boarding, including taking passengers’ temperatures.

An email sent to passengers said certain guests will be subject to additional screening. Guests who have visited or traveled through Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand or Vietnam in the 14 days prior to embarkation “will receive medical screening including having their temperature checked prior to boarding,” the email said.

Passengers and crew who are from Italy were asked “to confirm they have not been to any of the municipalities in the regions of Lombardy and Veneto that are under travel restrictions by the CDC,” according to the email.

Disney Cruise Line officials said in a release that all of its guests and crew members will also have their temperature checked by a nurse using a no-touch thermometer before boarding. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will undergo additional medical screening, according to the cruise line, and may not be allowed to board. Members of their party may also not be allowed on the ship, according to the cruise line’s website.

Employees with the cruise line will also be asking guests and crew members whether they’ve recently visited areas dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.

“Any guest or crew member who has traveled from, to or through China, including Hong Kong and Macau, South Korea, Italy, Iran or Japan, within 14 days of departure will not be able to board our ships,” the website said.

Anyone who has visited those areas or been in contact with someone from those areas will not be allowed to board, Disney Cruise Line’s website said. Click here for a full list of guidelines the cruise line has implemented amid the spread of the virus.

The change comes after thousands of people remain stuck on board the Grand Princess off the coast of Northern California. Passengers on the ship are being tested for COVID-19 after some guests reported symptoms.

Vice President Mike Pence is set to meet with cruise line representatives in Florida on Saturday to talk about ways to prevent the Coronavirus from spreading on cruise ships.

Watch News 6 and stay with ClickOrlando.com for updates.


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