Commercial flights no longer an option for disembarking cruise passengers

Cruise lines passengers disembarking ships in the U.S. must
return home via chartered or private transportation, the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention said on April 5. 

“Commercial flights and public transportation may not be
used,” the directive reads. “Outbreaks of Covid-19 on cruise ships pose a
risk for rapid spread of disease beyond the voyage. Aggressive efforts are
required to contain spread.”

The CDC said that cruise ships are often settings for
outbreaks of infectious diseases because of the “semi-enclosed environment and
contact between travelers from many countries.” 

The latest directive is a change that the CDC says “might be
confusing for travelers.” Previously, the CDC had advised cruise ship
passengers with no symptoms or temperature to travel on commercial flights with
face masks and to self-isolate for 14 days once home.

“The Covid-19 pandemic in the United States and globally is
constantly changing. We will continue to evaluate and update our
recommendations for returning cruise ship travelers as the situation evolves,”
CDC said. 

The directive comes after two cruise ships recently arrived
in the U.S. with passengers that tested positive for Covid-19 — Holland
America Line’s Zaandam
and Princess Cruises’ Coral Princess.

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