Mingo to discuss ebola screening  measures with FCCA

POSTED: 10/22/14 9:40 PM

St. Maarten—Port boss Mark Mingo will be traveling on Wednesday to meet with representatives of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) in connection with the cruise industry’s ebola screening measures.

Some cruise lines already have a stated policy of denying entry to any passengers or crew who has visited Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea within 21 days of a cruise departure date. Because of the cruise ship scare involving Carnival Magic, cruise lines have now heightened their screening of cruise passengers and crew in connection with ebola.

The increased screening measures are related to the Carnival Magic cruise vessel that was on a Western Caribbean itinerary when it was discovered that one of its passengers was a Texas lab technician assistant who worked at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital where the first ebola patient in the United States was detected and died.

The lab technician was placed in quarantine onboard the vessel until its return to Galveston, Texas on Sunday. Under the earlier screening protocol, the Dallas lab technician would not have received the extra screening because she had not been to one of the countries that have the epidemic.

The contact screening protocol is in addition to travel history screening, and denial of boarding for anyone who had physical contact with, or helped care for, a person with ebola within the 21 days of embarkation, according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

Port St. Maarten is a member of CLIA.  CEO Mingo said Port St. Maarten will take the necessary measures needed in collaboration with cruise line partners and stakeholders. Carnival, Royal Caribbean International, and Norwegian Cruise Line are already screening guests prior to boarding to ensure that they have not recently visited one of the countries where ebola is an epidemic.

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