Royal Caribbean Removes Restriction on Chinese Passport Holders

Passengers disembark from the cruise ship Anthem of the Seas at the Cape Liberty Cruise Port on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, in Bayonne, N.J. Passengers were screened, as a precaution, for coronavirus.
Photo by AP Photo/Kevin Hagen via Newscred

Royal Caribbean reports it has ended its general restriction on passport holders from China, Hong Kong and Macau. 

“The general restriction was adopted last week in response to numerous ports and governments around the world restricting travel for Chinese passport holders, often with little advance notice,” the cruise line said in a written statement. “Now that these governmental restrictions have been clarified, we are able to clarify our own policies.  

The line’s restriction on all individuals who have traveled from, to or through mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau within the past 15 days remains in effect, as does the restriction on people who had been in close contact with those individuals. 

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Countries which currently have more stringent port restrictions for Chinese passport holders are:

  • Bahamas: No entry for anyone with prior 20-day mainland China travel, regardless of nationality
  • India: No arrival visas for China passports   
  • Indonesia: No entry permitted to China passport holders  
  • Japan: No entry permitted for China passports issued in Hubei province
  • Malaysia: No entry permitted for China passports issued in Hubei, Zhejiang or Jiangsu provinces
  • Singapore: No entry permitted for China passport holders. Ship will be denied entry
  • Sri Lanka: No arrival visas for China passport holders
  • Vietnam: No entry permitted for China passport Holders. Ship will be denied entry

A continuously updated list is available on Royal Caribbean’s website

“We encourage holders of China, Hong Kong and Macau passports to be aware of the potential for a disrupted vacation, and to contact us with any questions,” the cruise line said. 

Royal Caribbean is also carrying out mandatory specialized health screenings on guests who are uncertain about contact with individuals who have traveled through China, Hong Kong or Macau in the past 15 days, as well as guests feeling unwell or reporting flu-like symptoms. Guests with a fever or low blood oximetry will be denied boarding. 

On Saturday night, as reported by our sister publication Travel Agenttests came back negative for the coronavirus for a group of guests on Anthem of the Seas’ most recent sailing. The ship’s sailing out of Bayonne, New Jersey, departed Monday, February 10, instead of Friday, February 7 as originally scheduled; as a result, the ship will spend one and a half days calling at King’s Wharf, Bermuda, instead of Port Canaveral, Perfect Day at CocoCay and Nassau as originally planned. Guests on the revised itinerary will receive a 50 percent refund, a 50 percent future cruise credit and prorated refunds on pre-purchased Internet, beverage and unlimited dining packages, as well as pre-paid gratuities. 

There are over 40,500 cases of the coronavirus in 25 countries worldwide, according to the latest update from the World Health Organization. There have been 910 deaths from the disease thus far, all except one in China. 

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