The United States Department of State has come out and advised its citizens against cruise ship travel due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.
In a statement issued on its website on Sunday, the state agency warns that “U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship.”
The State Department further notes that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the cruise ship environment increases the chances of the spread of the virus.
This warning comes in light of the recent developments surrounding the cruise ship, Grand Princess, that has seen several cases of infection at sea. It is scheduled to make port today under special circumstances.
The advisory also notes that in order to curb the spread of Covid-19, many countries have implemented strict screening procedures that have denied port entry rights to ships and prevented passengers from disembarking. It also notes that in some cases, local authorities have permitted disembarkation but subjected passengers to local quarantine procedures.
The State Department also told persons that immediate repatriation back to the United States may not be forthcoming if those citizens are placed in quarantine in the countries that they visit.
The warning also calls for older persons and persons with underlying health conditions to avoid crowded places, avoiding non-essential travel such as long plane trips.