Quarantine of Cruise Ships during COVID-19 Pandemic in Port of Keelung, Taiwan, 2020

DOI: 10.6524/EB.202401_40(2).0002

Yen-Ting Peng*, Li-Ju Chen, Pei-Chun Chuang, Yu-Ju Lin, Shih-Hao Liu

2024 Vol.40 NO.2

Correspondence Author: Yen-Ting Peng*

  • Taipei Regional Center, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan


        In view of a growing number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreaks occurring on cruise ships worldwide, Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that all international cruise ships were banned from calling at the ports of Taiwan since February 6, 2020. We reviewed the quarantine measures of two cruise ships in the Port of Keelung during the COVID-19 pandemic and provided the experiences of preparedness and response while facing international public health emergency events for other homeports.
        The Port of Keelung is known as the busiest cruise homeport in Taiwan. In February 2020, the Cruise A called at the Port of Keelung at the beginning of the CECC announcement. The quarantine measures were performed on board, and all passengers and crew members of the ship were included. Shortly afterwards, another cruise ship, Cruise B, also called at Keelung Port in June 2020. Therefore, only the crew members were subjected to quarantine, and the measures were implemented on the shoreside after disembarkation. Two international cruise ship quarantine tasks were successfully completed, relying on the command of port administration authority and cross-section coordination of CECC.
        The need for a border quarantine workforce and medical capacity around the port are the main challenges to international cruise ship quarantine in the Port of Keelung. Establishing a point of contact list and coordination mechanism within relevant agencies is important for a maritime quarantine office. In addition, regular visiting cruise ship physicians is helpful to realize the cruise-related operations and to track the health status of passengers on board.

Keywords:Cruise ship, border quarantine, maritime quarantine, COVID-19