DISNEY and Royal Caribbean cruises will now all screen passengers' temperatures to in an effort to halt coronavirus spread as cases continue to rise.
The announcements came amid panic of the virus spreading on board causing outbreaks, leaving passengers stranded on board in a quarantine for weeks as happened with the Diamond Princess.
Beginning today, Disney Cruise Line announced policy changes that would be put in place to fight against virus spread, according to Disney Cruise Line Blog.
Passengers will now be screened for coronavirus symptoms before boarding the ships.
"Beginning Friday, March 6, all guests and crew members will have their temperature checked by a nurse with a no touch thermometer prior to boarding," the policy change said.
"Additional medical screening will be required for anyone with a temperature of 100.4º F or greater, and they along with their travel party may be unable to sail."
Royal Caribbean also announced screening procedures for all passengers on Thursday, including a temperature and oxygen level check along with an assessment to see if each passenger has any signs of flu-like or respiratory illness.
Policy changes came as at least six cruises with more than 16,000 passengers were held in quarantine as passengers on board tested positive for the virus.
The changes from Disney also set restrictions on passengers who have recently been to countries with the most widespread outbreaks of COVID-19.
"If your client’s cruise includes a stop in Nassau or Castaway Cay, please note that The Bahamas will not allow anyone to disembark in any Bahamian port if they have been to China, South Korea, Italy or Iran in the past 20 days prior to arrival," the policy said.
"These guests and Crew Members may be able to sail but will be unable to visit The Bahamas."
The U.S. so far has confirmed more than 240 cases of the virus, including 15 deaths.
Communities — including the city of Seattle, Washington — have begun to self-quarantine in an effort to keep the virus from infecting more people.
In additional to screening, passengers will now be allowed to cancel their cruise up to 24 hours before their scheduled departure — for a full refund to use on another future trip, according to the Disney Cruise blog.
The policy change follows just weeks after passengers were finally let off the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was quarantined for weeks off the coast of Japan amid a virus outbreak on board.
More than 600 passengers and crew became infected with the virus, sparking fear that if passengers were not let off, all those on board would become sick.
The Grand Princess cruise ship is currently being held in a quarantine off the coast of San Francisco, California, after two people who were previously on board the ship died of the virus.
Officials are now working to track down 2,500 passengers who were on the ship, with some still on board.
Another cruise ship was quarantined off the coast of Greece earlier this week, after a previous passenger on board tested positive for coronavirus.
People have begun to panic that cruises are becoming a hotbed for virus spread as people are kept in tight, close quarters.
Disney is not the only company to announce screening procedures amid coronavirus panic.
The announcements came as more than 100,000 people have become infected with the virus worldwide, and more than 3,400 people have died.
Health officials are working around the clock to do identify cases of coronavirus, and to halt its spread in communities as much as they can.
President Trump has downplayed the seriousness of the virus, saying the World Health Organization's worldwide fatality rate of 3.4 percent was inaccurate, and that the virus "will go away."
Mike Pence expressed yesterday that the U.S. would fall short of its goal to have one million coronavirus tests done by the end of the week.
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