Carnival Corporation has said it will fully co-operate with the US House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure after it opened an inquiry into the company’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Bloomberg reported on Friday that letters had been sent to Carnival chief executive Arnold Donald, the US Coast Guard and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asking for internal documents and correspondence relating to outbreaks onboard its ships.

The letter asked Carnival to clarify its plan for improvement in the areas of public health and passenger safety which it said “has not been seen up to this point”.

It also said the cruise giant appeared to be “still trying to sell this cruise line fantasy and ignoring the public health threat”.

A statement from Carnival said it was reviewing the letter and would fully co-operate with the committee.

The statement said: “Our goal is the same as the committee’s goal, to protect the health, safety and well-being of our guests and crew, along with compliance and environmental protection.”

In a call with journalists on April 16, Donald refuted suggestions the cruise industry was slow to react to the outbreak of coronavirus.

And he argued that cruise was one of the best-placed sectors of travel to cope with anticipated stricter health and safety protocols in the future.

He said: “The cruise industry put a pause on cruise before anybody else did. Before hotels or restaurants and other places of social gathering.

“Cruise ships are not the cause. Neither are they the reason for the spread.”

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