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MSC Cruises is extremely disappointed that Jamaican authorities yesterday delayed a decision for many hours to give our ship the necessary clearance to disembark guests, despite us having provided detailed medical records to the local health and national authorities ahead of its arrival as per normal protocol.
Similarly, the decision taken overnight by the Grand Cayman authorities to refuse disembarkation at Georgetown was made without even reviewing the ship’s medical records, which show one single case of common seasonal flu (type A influenza) affecting one crew member with a travel history clearly showing no passages through territories either affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus) or subject to any international health restrictions. In both instances, the ship was effectively turned away simply based on fears.
Saudi Arabia on Thursday halted travel to the holiest sites in Islam over coronavirus fears just months ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, as the Middle East recorded more than 220 confirmed cases.
The extraordinary decision by Saudi Arabia prevents foreigners from reaching the holy city of Mecca and the Kaaba, the cube-shaped structure the world's 1.8 billion Muslims pray towards five times a day. It also said travel was suspended to Prophet Muhammad's mosque in Medina.
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Growing concerns inside the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank about the spread of the new coronavirus have prompted the institutions to consider scaling back their annual meetings in April or hold them by teleconference, people familiar with the discussions said on Wednesday (Feb 26).
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told reporters at the Pentagon Monday that some command post joint exercises with South Korea could be scaled back due to precautions being taken over the rapidly-spreading coronavirus.
South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo echoed Esper’s sentiments during a joint briefing held at the Pentagon Monday and said that the combined exercises may have to be “curtailed.”
Jeong explained that the spread of the virus has grown more “serious by the day” and that movement between South Korean military units was limited.
Iran is taking a range of measures to stem the spread of the new coronavirus, including a ban on restaurants and cafes offering hookah water pipes.
Iran has reported the largest number of deaths from the virus outside mainland China. As of Wednesday, 139 people were confirmed to be infected, and 19 of them died.
A state-run news agency reported that on Wednesday Tehran police ordered restaurants and cafes not to provide hookahs to customers.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said the government is planning to ask all elementary, junior and senior high schools and special support schools in the country to shut down from Monday, until the start of the spring holidays, in a bid to reduce the risk of students catching the new coronavirus.
TOKYO: The operator of Tokyo's two Disney resorts, Disneyland and DisneySea, said Friday (Feb 28) the parks would be closed for around two weeks on fears over the outbreak of COVID-19.
"Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea have decided to proceed with an extraordinary closure from Saturday, Feb 29, 2020, through Sunday, Mar 15" after the government urged measures to limit the spread of the virus, the operator said in a statement.
Notification of Temporary Closure(As of Friday February 28, 15:30)
Universal Studios Japan announces the temporary closure of our park in order to prevent the spread of Novel Coronavirus within the nation. We will carefully monitor the situation. The period that we are closed may change according to the situation and in that case we will make further announcement.
All tickets can be refundable only by your travel agency not in the park.
◆Temporary closed period: Saturday, February 29th 2020 to Sunday, March 15th 2020
Ports Currently Closed to Cruise Ships
Hong Kong: Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in Hong Kong has shut both its cruise terminals until further notice as cruise lines cancel sailings and adjust itineraries to avoid calls on several Asia ports due to the coronavirus outbreak.
South Korea: South Korea has implemented a temporary ban on all cruise ships docking at its ports. For February, the only ship scheduled to call in was Holland America Line's Westerdam, which was barred from entering multiple ports. . . .
A hotel near Heathrow has been closed to the public and designated as a coronavirus quarantine centre as health officials prepare for more cases in the UK.
The Holiday Inn Heathrow Ariel hotel closed on Saturday with staff told it would not reopen for bookings until next month at the earliest.
Sources told The Independent the hotel has been block booked as a potential quarantine zone for international visitors to the UK who develop coronavirus or for Britons evacuated to the UK from overseas.
The French government on Saturday said it is banning public gatherings of more than 5,000 people in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, an announcement that comes as the country reports 16 new cases. . . .
The tightened restrictions on public gatherings had an immediate impact. A major four-day trade show in Cannes for property investors was postponed from March to June.
Accordingly, the Paris half-marathon scheduled for Sunday will not take place, although Ligue 1 football matches will still go ahead.
The University of Maryland and Towson University have suspended study abroad programs in Italy and told students to return home after the CDC raised its coronavirus warning level Friday night to limit travel in that country.
The university’s flagship College Park campus has 136 students studying in Italy, while Towson has nine students and additional faculty and staff there.
Both universities notified their campuses after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance for Italy telling people to avoid nonessential travel because of widespread community transmission of the illness.
Temple University is closing its Rome campus for the rest of the spring semester and Pennsylvania State University is recalling all students in Italy, citing elevated travel warnings by the federal government and health authorities over the worsening coronavirus outbreak.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The coronavirus outbreak has led Syracuse University to ban university-related travel to Italy.