State Department urges U.S. citizens not to travel on cruise ships

Some 21 people onboard a cruise ship that stopped in Hawaii in late February have tested...
Some 21 people onboard a cruise ship that stopped in Hawaii in late February have tested positive for coronavirus.(Affiliate)
Updated: Mar. 8, 2020 at 8:18 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The U.S. State Department says U.S. citizens, especially those with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship, according to a travel advisory issued Sunday.

The advisory cites the Center of Disease Control’s conclusion that there is an increased risk of contracting coronavirus, or COVID-19, on a cruise ship.

Passengers with plans to travel by cruise ship should contact their cruise line companies directly for further information and continue to monitor the website as well as the latest from the CDC.

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The CDC says older adults and those with underlying health issues should avoid situations that put them at increased risk for more severe disease, including crowded places and non-essential travel such as long plane rides as well as cruises.

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.

The State Department said that 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.

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