MSC Cruises and Princess Cruises will screen passengers for signs of coronavirus before allowing them to board.
MSC is introducing mandatory "non-touch thermal scans" for all guests and crew prior to embarkation. The tests will be carried out prior to every cruise operated by MSC anywhere in the world.
Those with signs or symptoms of illness such as fever, feverishness, chills, coughing or breathing difficulty will not be allowed to board.
Guests will also be required to complete a pre-embarkation questionnaire to ensure no-one boards having travelled from, or having visited, mainland China up to 30 days before departure. Anyone who has will not be allowed to board.
MSC said the precautionary measures were designed to protect the health and wellbeing of guests and crew across its global fleet.
It follows the World Health Organization’s (WHO) decision on Thursday (30 January) to declare coronavirus a global health emergency.
“MSC Cruises has undertaken a series of actions since 24 January, and due to the latest coronavirus developments, today [Thursday] implemented additional public health measures across its fleet,” said MSC in a statement.
“While there are no cases of coronavirus onboard any of MSC Cruises’ ships, these measures are additional steps to secure the health and well-being of all guests and crew.”
Additional measures include deeper sanitation measures onboard every MSC ship.
Guests who develop fever symptoms, meanwhile, will be isolated in their cabin.
“The same measure applies for their close contacts, including guests staying in the same cabin and family members, as well as any crew member who may have served these guests,” said MSC.
“Guests and crew who travelled last week from mainland China were already screened for symptoms upon embarkation, and were requested to report any symptoms of illness to the onboard medical centre,” MSC added.
Princess Cruises, meanwhile, has pledged to implement similar measures following the WHO’s ruling. These include: