Update: Royal Caribbean has backtracked on this policy. See here for everything you need to know.
I’m not sure if I’m missing something obvious, but it seems to me like this crosses the line…
Travel providers are being hit hard by coronavirus
While all kinds of businesses are suffering as a result of the coronavirus, it goes without saying that travel companies are among the hardest hit, as many people cancel travel plans given the constantly evolving situation.
Airlines, hotels, and cruise lines, all face different challenges.
I don’t write about cruise ships a lot here (even though I’m going on two cruises this year, for the first time in over a decade — wish me luck!), though there are some cases of cruise ships having passengers who tested positive for coronavirus, and they’re being quarantined.
Royal Caribbean’s coronavirus policy
I think most travel providers are acting in good faith with the policies they’ve put in place, even if companies have taken very different approaches. And then you have Royal Caribbean.
The cruise line has today updated their policies for dealing with coronavirus, as they work to protect the safety of their guests and crews.
For the month of February 2020, Royal Caribbean is banning anyone with a Chinese, Hong Kong, or Macau passport from boarding their ships, regardless of residency.
In addition to this, Royal Caribbean has tightened their health screening requirements, and the following guests will have to undergo extra screenings:
- Anyone that has been in contact with individuals that have traveled from, to, or through mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau in the last 15 days
- Anyone that feels unwell or demonstrates flu-like symptoms
- Any guest presenting with fever or low blood oximetry in the specialized health screening will be denied boarding
The company claims that these decisions were made “in alignment with new, stricter CDC protocols, plus changes in various countries’ requirements and regulations.”
The policy here that really seems to cross the line is that they are rejecting anyone with a Chinese, Hong Kong, or Macau passport, regardless of where they live. If you have one of those passports but are a permanent resident in another country and haven’t even been to Greater China in the past decade, you still wouldn’t be allowed on one of their ships? How on earth do you justify that?
For what it’s worth, they quote that their new policy is in alignment with CDC policies, though I see nothing from the CDC suggesting people should be restricted due to their national origin or passport.
Is there something obvious I’m missing here, or does Royal Caribbean’s policy cross the line?
(Tip of the hat to Traveling Tiffani)