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Cruise lines' plan includes age/health screening, evacuation for acute care

PHOTO: ANNE KALOSH Caribbean Princess.jpg
Among a raft of proposals, screening at embarkation would be elevated with travelers required to respond to additional health-related questions and undergo temperature checks. Pictured here: Caribbean Princess at Port Everglades
People over 70 would need to provide a physician's note verifying their fitness to go on a cruise under the industry's coronavirus plan presented to US officials.

Screening for others with comprised health

As well, screening at embarkation would be elevated with travelers required to respond to additional health-related questions. Anyone with a chronic medical condition, such as a compromised immune system or undergoing chemotherapy, would need to go through a secondary screening before being allowed to board, according to someone familiar with the plan.

As earlier reported, cruise lines began to check temperatures at embarkation over the weekend, initially at US ports. This practice is intended to be ramped up to all ports.

Boarding would continue to be denied to passengers and crew who have traveled through certain countries within 14 days. This has already been in effect for some time and the list currently includes China, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea and, more recently, Italy, with the possibility of Japan being added. The places will change in response to the spread of COVID-19.

Providing for acute care

The cruise lines would also provide for airlift evacuation of anyone needing land-based care for coronavirus. Basically, operators would ensure a process for dealing with people requiring acute COVID-19-related medical care that does not draw on government resources and funding. 

Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday night said he had received a 'comprehensive proposal' from the cruise industry and his task force would be reviewing it over the next 24 hours.

It is now up to the government to accept, reject or ask the cruise industry to modify the plan, according to a person familiar with it.

CLIA defers to the task force

For now, Cruise Lines International Association is not commenting about details of the plan.

'It is appropriate and fair and in keeping with the spirit of the discussions with the White House to give the Vice President and the task force time to digest it before discussing externally,' a spokeswoman said.

Prevention, detection and care

She added that CLIA is 'proud of the plan as submitted, which focuses on prevention, detection and care, 'and further demonstrates the cruise industry’s commitment to public health and safety and its willingness to go above and beyond to address the challenge facing our global community.'

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