BOSTON (CBS) – Travel agents say the coronavirus is having an impact on the cruise industry, even on trips along the East Coast. This comes as hundreds of Americans are now back in the U.S. after being evacuated off a ship in Japan.
Crews in protective suits greeted Americans as their charter flights landed in Texas and in California. They had been quarantined on the Diamond Princess off the coast of Japan but U.S. officials say the efforts to contain the virus failed. Fourteen evacuees tested positive, and had to be isolated from other passengers, but showed no signs of symptoms.
Cruise lines leaving from the U.S. are now stepping up precautions.
“I haven’t seen enhanced screening like this,” said Rita Cornelio, owner of Mystic Valley Travel in Medford. “We’ve had travel advisories, and different things but not of this nature.”
Cornelio has been warning her clients about what to expect on their upcoming vacations to popular destinations.
“Even Caribbean travel, we’ve had advisories as a matter of fact one came in today from Princess Cruises,” Cornelio said. “There will be enhanced screening when they get on board.”
Cornelio said cruise lines are also checking to see if anyone has traveled to China recently, if so, they won’t be allowed onto ships.
“If it shows on their passport, they will be denied boarding,” Cornelio said.
For the Americans who arrived back in the U.S., they now begin a 14-day quarantine at military bases in Texas and California.
In total, more than 300 Americans were evacuated from the Diamond Princess. Their 14-day quarantine was cut short over in Japan, so after their two weeks wraps up in the U.S., they will have spent nearly four weeks in quarantine.