An announcement was made late Saturday night, February 8, 2020 by Phil Murphy, Governor of the State of New Jersey, USA that testing by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed that the passengers onboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Anthem of the Seas did not have the new Coronavirus illness. This confirmation debunks misleading social media postings in the Federation over the past two days that the cruise liner, which docked in Bayonne, New Jersey on Friday, February 7, 2020 after a 12-day Caribbean cruise whose itinerary included St. Kitts and Nevis, would have had on board a dozen passengers with the novel Coronavirus. The Federal Ministry of Health wishes to advise the public that Anthem of the Seas would have visited St. Kitts and Nevis on Monday, February 3, 2020 – as the final leg of its five-port cruise which also included stops in Puerto Rico; St. Martin; Antigua; and St. Lucia. By the time the vessel docked in New Jersey on Friday, February 7, 2020, some 27 passengers who were Chinese nationals were subjected to exit screening by the CDC and local health officials. Four of these passengers were admitted to University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey for further testing. These tests were all negative for the novel Coronavirus. This means that no one onboard this particular Anthem of the Seas voyage is known to have the new Coronavirus illness. The Ministry further advises that it was also on February 7, 2020 that Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) confirmed that Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and all cruise line members have strengthened pre-boarding screening of all cruise vessels. CLIA assured the public that passengers and crew who have travelled from ports in China, Hong Kong and Macau within 14 days would be barred from cruise ships.
The Federal Ministry of Health continues to monitor our ports of entry in order to reduce the health risk to our citizens and residents. The Ministry remains in close communication with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), and our other regional and international partners. The public will be updated on the new Coronavirus outbreak as often as may be required.