Cruise industry proposes travel restrictions for passengers over 70 as coronavirus spreads

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The cruise industry has submitted a proposal to the White House that would ban travelers over the age of 70 as well as those with chronic medical conditions from getting on a ship as the coronavirus spreads, two sources familiar with the matter told CNBC.

Earlier this week, the U.S. State Department urged Americans not to travel on cruise ships.

The industry is seeing the effects of lower travel demand.

The cruise industry has submitted a proposal to the White House that would impose restrictions on travelers over the age of 70 as well as those with chronic medical conditions as the coronavirus spreads, two sources familiar with the matter told CNBC.

The proposal would restrict people over the age of 70 from getting on a ship unless they can provide written consent from a doctor, the sources said.

Cruise officials were expected to meet at the White House Wednesday to receive a response to the proposal. Earlier this week, the U.S. State Department urged Americans not to travel on cruise ships.

Two high profile quarantines – the Diamond Princess off the coast of Japan and the Grand Princess off the coast of California – have raised questions as to whether the cruise lines are taking the right steps to minimize the risk of infection from the virus, which has resulted in more than 124,000 confirmed cases globally, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. At least 4,589 people have died worldwide.

Adam Goldstein, CEO of the Cruise Line International Association and former Vice Chairman of Royal Caribbean, told CNBC’s Squawk on the Street that the industry submitted the proposal following Vice President Mike Pence’s request to beef up containment measures.

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