The U.S State Department issued the travel advisory in response to the coronavirus, COVID-19 which has spread rapidly globally, causing widespread panic and fear.
“U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship,” the U.S State Department warned.
The Caribbean, including the BVI relies heavily on U.S for cruise passengers who made up 54 percent of the industry globally in 2018, according to Cruise Market Watch, which monitors the industry.
On February 26, the BVI took a decision to block the cruise ship, M/V Costa Favolosa, from calling on the Virgin Islands over coronavirus concerns.
“U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship,” the State Department urged.
The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has noted increased risk of infection of COVID-19 in a cruise ship environment. 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.
In some cases, local authorities have permitted disembarkation, but subjected passengers to local quarantine procedures.
“While the U.S. government has evacuated some cruise ship passengers in recent weeks, repatriation flights should not be relied upon as an option for U.S. citizens under the potential risk of quarantine by local authorities,” the State Department informed U.S cruisers.
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