Cruise ship passengers say they’re shocked by lack of COVID-19 protocol at airport

Travelers sent Channel 2?s Mike Petchenik pictures of the scene at the Atlanta airport on Saturday morning, as dozens waited for a TSA screening.

ATLANTA — Kimberly Goff is back in Atlanta after a harrowing journey that started on a Norwegian cruise ship and ended Monday at the Atlanta airport.

She was shocked that she got home without being checked for coronavirus at the airport.

“I was absolutely stupefied. It was shocking," Goff said. "There was absolutely zero health check. No healthcare professionals, no questionnaires, no temperature checks.”

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Goff is now self-quarantining in case she picked up the virus, which has caused a global pandemic.

Travelers sent Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik pictures of the scene at the Atlanta airport on Saturday morning, as dozens waited for a TSA screening.

Pictures garnered thousands of comments and nearly 2 million impressions on Twitter with people shocked about business as usual.

“To just release them into the airport makes no sense whatsoever,” Matt Goldberg said.

Petchenik spoke with Goldberg via Zoom.

His mother was on the Costa Luminosa cruise ship, which had several cases of COVID-19 aboard.

Channel 2 Action News reported Friday that hundreds of passengers landed in Atlanta and at least three had positive tests.

Passengers told us there was no formal screening for them and many were allowed to leave unless they had symptoms.

Goldberg's mother was sick at the airport but flew to phoenix and is now in the hospital with COVID-19.


“I don’t know how many people my mom exposed just being in the airport and on that flight to Phoenix. Countless people were exposed to the coronavirus through this open gate, letting them loose in Atlanta,” Goldberg said.

Other Costa passengers who came to Atlanta refused to leave.

The Georgia Department of Public Health sent Petchenik a statement, saying:

“There were three individuals on the plane who were asymptomatic but tested positive for COVID-19. DPH wrote isolation orders for those individuals and the HHS/CDC found a location to house them...Other passengers were screened for symptoms at the CDC’s quarantine station at the airport and were cleared to travel to their final destination.”

Passengers who were stuck on a cruise ship off the coast of France arrived at the Atlanta airport Friday.