The Port of San Diego is working with cruise lines to conclude voyages that were underway when the cruise companies suspended operations last week, it announced Friday.
“No ship has or will be allowed in San Diego Bay without first being cleared by medical authorities, and no new sailings have begun or will begin out of San Diego Bay until at least mid-April,” port officials said in a statement.
Since last week, when cruise lines announced they were suspending sailings for at least 30 days in response to the current global health crisis, three ships have come into port and disembarked all passengers along with crew members whose contracts have ended.
One more cruise vessel — the Celebrity Eclipse — is scheduled to arrive next Friday. Some of the ships will remain in San Diego Bay without passengers aboard. Per the cruise lines, crew members still under contract must remain on the ship.
To help minimize the spread of and exposure to COVID-19 during these vessel arrivals and disembarkations, the port has been communicating and collaborating with the cruise lines, San Diego County Health & Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Coast Guard, and Customs and Border Protection.
The following precautions have been and remain in place:
- The port is cleaning and disinfecting the B Street cruise terminal before and after each ship.
- The port has installed extra handwashing stations in and around the terminal for passenger and public use and has made extra hand sanitizer available.
- Ship agents and cruise lines are required to notify the Coast Guard immediately if anyone aboard a vessel is exhibiting symptoms of communicable diseases including COVID-19.
- All inbound vessels must notify the Coast Guard 14 days ahead of their scheduled arrival in San Diego, even if no one on board is exhibiting symptoms.
On March 12, the Regent Splendor docked and is scheduled to remain docked at the National City Marine Terminal until April 11.
On Wednesday, the Holland America Eurodam left San Diego Bay for Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where it will undergo a two-week self-quarantine.
The Disney cruise ship Wonder docked Thursday in San Diego, and none of the 1,980 passengers aboard show any respiratory problems consistent with COVID-19, though one crew member has tested positive for influenza. The passengers will continue to disembark Friday.
The Celebrity Eclipse is due in port March 27, and is scheduled to disembark passengers March 27 and 28, and remain in port until March 30.
Per guidance issued by the CDC, all cruise travelers have been advised to go home and self-quarantine for 14 days, practice social distancing and monitor their health.
— City News Service