SAN FRANCISCO, March 10 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. city of Monterey in Northern California, which receives 15 to 20 cruise ships per year, is asking travel agencies to cancel cruise ship visits through April over the coronavirus threat.
"Out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of the safety of our residents, workers, and visitors, the City of Monterey asked cruise ship agencies to cancel their upcoming cruises into Monterey Bay, and they have complied," city officials said in a statement released on Monday.
"The Royal Princess has canceled visits to Monterey on March 31, April 14, and April 28," the news release noted, adding it is a precautionary measure aimed at containing coronavirus spread.
No cases of the new coronavirus have been reported in Monterey County so far.
According to the local media, the city's 2020 cruise season has just begun with the first visit on March 3. Eight of the ships scheduled to arrive in Monterey belong to Princess Cruise. City officials said they have been tracking the approach to isolating the COVID-19-hit Grand Princess cruise ship.
The cruise ship with 21 coronavirus patients aboard, which also linked to the first coronavirus-related death in California, docked at the Port of Oakland on Monday after being held off at sea for days.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that the U.S. government is advising U.S. travelers, particularly those with underlying health issues, to defer cruise ship travel. Recent reports of COVID-19 on cruise ships highlight the risk of infection to cruise ship passengers and crew. Like many other viruses, COVID-19 appears to spread more easily between people in close quarters aboard ships.