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US now requires cruise lines to get people home on charter flights

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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now requiring cruise lines get people home from ships on charter flights or other private transportation.

Passengers and crew may not travel via commercial flights or shared transportation with non-cruisers.

Previously, the CDC advised it was OK for people who had no symptoms and passed a temperature check to travel on commercial flights, provided they wore a face mask and self-isolated for 14 days once home.

'Commercial flights and public transportation may not be used'

CDC's new guidance states: 'Cruise line companies must get travelers directly to their homes via chartered or private transportation. Commercial flights and public transportation may not be used.

'Mildly symptomatic travelers may return home alone or with other symptomatic travelers by charter flight, air ambulance, ground ambulance or other private vehicle that can be properly sanitized.

'Asymptomatic travelers may return home alone or with other asymptomatic travelers by charter flight or other private vehicle that can be properly sanitized.'

Travelers known to be infectious with COVID-19 may not travel by commercial conveyance including charter flights that are not approved air medical transport.

Another Coral Princess death

The new policy came overnight Sunday as Princess Cruises was working to disembark Coral Princess at PortMiami.

Another passenger died Saturday night while waiting to get off the ship, The Miami Herald reported. According to the Herald, family members of sick people on board were calling emergency services and Miami-Dade County sent a medical team to assess the severely ill along with paramedics to assist.

Two people died on Coral Princess en route to Florida, and four were taken to hospitals in Miami and Tampa when the ship arrived Saturday.

Princess working to adjust to new policy

Princess said disembarkation Sunday would be limited to those departing on chartered flights arranged by the line to California, Australia and the UK.

Scrambling to adjust the repatriation plan to meet the new CDC requirements, the line said: 'This will unfortunately result in further delays in disembarkation and onward travel for many guests as we work through this complex, challenging and unfortunate situation.'