WASHINGTON (AP/WFLA) — President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that four major cruise ship companies have agreed to suspend trips from the U.S. for 30 days, effective at midnight.
Trump said that Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and MSC Cruises all agreed to the suspensions. He said the cruise line industry is a “great and important industry – it will be kept that way!”
Royal Caribbean said in a statement:
We are reaching out to our guests to help them work through this disruption to their vacations, and we are truly sorry for their inconvenience. We are also communicating with our crew to work out the issues this decision presents for them. We know this adds great stress to our guests, employees and crew, and we are working to minimize the disruption.
Our business is providing great vacations and creating great memories. We look forward to getting back to work as soon as we can.
Norwegian Cruise Line and Celebrity Cruise Lines announced Friday that they are suspending all cruise voyages through April 11 across its three cruise brands to help contain the spread of coronavirus. The company has not experienced any confirmed cases of the novel virus.
The U.S. State Department advised Sunday against any travel on cruise ships, particularly for those with underlying health conditions. The advisory said the CDC has noted an “increased risk of infection of COVID-19 in a cruise ship environment.”
Cruise industry leaders met over the weekend with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Vice President Mike Pence and were asked to devise and fund ways to transport any passengers found to carry the virus. Cruise line heads agreed to enhance entry and exit screenings and establish shipboard testing, along with new quarantine standards. Some of the new protocols were expected to start taking effect early this week.