Dr. Stephen Ostroff, a former acting commissioner of the F.D.A., who serves on the Healthy Sail group, said they have recommended that cruise passengers be tested before arriving at the ship, and then again before boarding.
“The one thing that you want to make sure of is that the virus doesn’t get on there in the first place,” Dr. Ostroff said.
Dr. Ostroff acknowledged that passengers who are exposed to the virus en route to the ship would not necessarily test negative, but could be infectious. He also said that the group’s other recommendations, such as allowing fewer passengers, enforcing mask wearing and installing improved air filtration systems, aim to limit the spread of the virus on a ship should an infected passenger board.
Brian Morgenstern, the White House deputy press secretary, denied that the administration’s cruise ship plans were politically motivated. “The president, the vice president and the task