Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines have made the controversial decision to ban all citizens from China from sailing with them as coronavirus continues to spread across the world.

Royal Caribbean issued a statement explaining its decision.

“Any guests holding a Chinese, Hong Kong or Macau passport, regardless of when they were there last, will not be allowed to board our ships,” the line said.

The ban will be valid for the entire month of February.

In addition to this, any guest or crew member travelling through China, Hong Kong or Macau less than 15 days before departure will be unable to board any of its ships.

“These steps are intentionally conservative, and we apologise that they will inconvenience some of our guests.”

Royal Caribbean

Norwegian Cruise Lines said passengers denied boarding would be issued a refund if they provide proof of travel.

“The safety, security and well-being of our guests and crew is our number one priority,” Norwegian Cruise Lines said in a statement.


The tough new rules tie in with CLIA’s recent statement on introducing new guidelines to help stop the spread of the virus.

This includes CLIA members denying boarding to all persons who have travelled from, visited or transited via airports in China, including Hong Kong and Macau, within 14 days before embarkation.

You can see the full list of new rules here: NEW RULES: CLIA’s Response To The Coronavirus Threat

As of today, there have been 42,700 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus since the outbreak began in late January, with the majority in China. Around 1000 of those people have died.