THE US government has warned tourists to “reconsider” going on cruises to East Asia and the Asia-Pacific region amid the coronavirus outbreak.
They added that not only could passengers be prevented from disembarking, they may also be stranded abroad.
The update follows the repatriation of 13 US tourists from the coronavirus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan, with two passengers killed by the virus.
This has almost doubled the reported cases in the US, with 26 reported cases after 11 repatriated passengers tested positive.
The advice from the US State Department warns: “US citizens should reconsider travel by cruise ship to or within East Asia and the Asia-Pacific Region.
“US citizens planning travel by cruise ship elsewhere should be aware that, due to the current public health situation, many countries have implemented strict screening procedures in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
“This is a dynamic situation and US citizens travelling by ship may be impacted by travel restrictions affecting their itineraries or ability to disembark, or may be subject to quarantine procedures implemented by the local authorities.”
While the UK government has not yet issued a cruise warning, Brits should also be warned with many cruise liners departing from the US in Miami and Florida.
British tourists could be subject to similar problems such as additional screening and bans on disembarking.
The US government warning added that while they had “evacuated hundreds” of tourists overseas, repatriation flights should “not be relied upon”.
Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has killed over 2,100, with 75,000 reported cases across the globe.
Cruise ships have been affected by the outbreak, as many have cancelled port calls across Asia including Hong Kong and Singapore.
Norwegian has cancelled all summer cruises to Asia, while Royal Caribbean and Carnival are banning anyone who has been to mainland China or Hong Kong 15 days before their trip.
A British couple have been left stranded in Australia with hundreds of other passengers after their cruise banned them from boarding, despite having no coronavirus symptoms.
A couple on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship said they have not tested positive for the virus despite claims.
There are currently 78 Brits on the cruise, who are yet to return to the UK.
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