SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The U.S. State Department on Sunday issued a warning to U.S. citizens advising against cruise ship travel as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread globally.

“U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship,” the State Department wrote in its warning.

The warning comes as the CDC issues new guidance regarding the coronavirus, including tips for people who do choose to travel by cruise ship.

“Like many other viruses, COVID-19 appears to spread more easily between people in close quarters aboard ships,” the CDC said in its guidance.

The CDC reports those with underlying health issues and older travel should avoid cruise ships altogether, along with long airplane trips and crowded places.

If you do choose to go on a cruise ship, tips from the CDC said the following should especially be avoided:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
    • It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  • Avoid traveling if you are sick.
  • If you get sick with fever or new or worsening cough or difficulty breathing during your cruise, stay in your cabin and notify the onboard medical center immediately.

If you have been on a cruise within the last two weeks, the CDC recommends monitoring your health for 14 days after returning home, staying home if you feel sick, and limiting your interactions with others, as well as washing your hands thoroughly and getting medical advice.

Officials advise you first to call and discuss your symptoms and recent travel with a doctor or other medical professional before going to an emergency room or doctor’s office.

The U.S. has 554 confirmed cases of the coronavirus with 21 deaths as early Monday.

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