P&O React To Rising Ebola Concerns

November 7, 2014

In a bid to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of its passengers, P&O Cruises has announced its intention to introduce ebola screening procedures.

A press release from the company states that, after working with international health authorities, a new screening and boarding system will be implemented for any passengers travelling in November.

Anyone who has travelled to or through Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea within 21 days of the date that their cruise leaves will not be allowed to board the vessel.

All embarking guests and ship visitors will be asked to complete a mandatory health questionnaire upon embarkation and will be asked to submit to further medical screening, if necessary.

In addition to this, anybody who has been in contact with an individual who could have the virus is also not permitted to travel on the ship. This includes those who are caring for such people.

All of this is, of course, P&O doing their very best to ensure that their passengers and crew are entirely healthy while on board.

P&O announced that it would be “screening our bookings for any passengers coming from [Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea].”

This comes in light of the recent news regarding the virus, which has claimed many lives in west Africa. Exact numbers of casualties is unknown, but it is thought to be anywhere between 5,000 and 12,000.

P&O said: “We continue to monitor the situation closely, along with our colleagues in the rest of the travel industry.”

This announcement comes a few weeks after the incident where a woman who had worked in an ebola laboratory was found to be travelling on a cruise ship.

The Carnival Magic promised a week of sipping cocktails on glorious beaches, but after four days it stopped off the coast of Belize for no apparent reason.

Once the captain confirmed that one lady on board, who worked at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, had processed clinical samples from the first person who was diagnosed with the virus in the US, panic set in.

Thomas Eric Duncan had died four days before ship sailed, and the lab supervisor and her husband were quarantined in their cabin in a bid to mitigate the fear that quickly made its way around the vessel.

Passenger Jon Malone was quoted by the Daily Telegraph as saying: “It’s really difficult to control any type of virus that’s on a cruise ship. It’s like a floating petri dish. It spreads very rapidly. They’re cleaning elevators. I’ve seen people with pink liquid cleaning the bar area and the handrails.”

His brother Jeremy, who was also on board, commented how a number of people were crying, yet some were having a drink in the bar.

A letter was sent out to passengers informing them that the individual in question was “not deemed to be a risk” and had no symptoms.

Does the outbreak of ebola across the world make you more sceptical when booking a cruise? Or does this announcement from P&O fill you with more confidence?