Clia UK & Ireland has issued a warning notice to member cruise lines over Ebola, with recommendations that lines “deny boarding” to crew or passengers travelling from countries at risk.
It comes after news of ‘panic’ on a Carnival Cruise Lines voyage when it emerged that one of its passengers was a health worker who had handled specimens from the US’s first confirmed Ebola patient.
The ship was prevented from calling at Belize and Mexico, and the passenger placed herself into voluntary isolation, although she passed a blood test and was allowed to leave with passengers when the ship docked back in Texas on Monday.
A number of lines have already cancelled port calls in West Africa, including Holland America Line, which has cancelled port stops in Ghana, Gambia and Senegal. Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn and Fred Olsen have also stopped calls in the region.
Now Clia has produced guidance for its member cruise lines, providing them with “a sample protocol that includes denial of boarding for all passengers and crew arriving from countries designated with a Level 3 Travel Health warning by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention”.
Additional advice includes “denial of boarding to passengers and crew who travelled to, in or through those countries within a minimum of 21 days before embarkation.”
Clia said it had also “recommended ‘contact screening’, in addition to travel history screening, and denial of boarding for anyone who had physical contact with, or helped care for, a person with Ebola during the same time frame”.