Australian cruises slapped with new ban
Australians hoping to jump on board a cruise ship in the new year will have to wait until at least March, with the Federal Government announcing the ban on ships entering our waters will be extended for another three months.
The Australian Government had indicated the cruise ship ban would expire on December 17, giving hope to the industry to bring back domestic cruises, but as of today that date has been pushed back by three months.
Cruise ships in Australia have been out of action since March 18 following high-profile incidents like the Ruby Princess debacle at the beginning of the pandemic.
The ban was introduced by the Federal Government under the same biosecurity laws which have been used to restrict international flights into Australia.
Earlier this month, the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) confirmed they will impose mandatory COVID-19 tests for guests and crew before boarding ships, limit passenger numbers, and conduct daily health monitoring and temperature checks for all on board when cruising resumes.
Speaking to the ABC, Joel Katz, CLIA's managing director for Australasia, said the current ban on cruising should be replaced with a process that would allow cruise lines to start looking at a carefully managed resumption in 2021.
His proposed protocols included resuming cruises to operate within Australian state or national borders while travel restrictions are in place
"Australia's relative success in stemming community transmission of COVID-19 - together with the Australasian cruise industry's robust strategy - creates an opportunity for a tightly managed and phased revival of the country's $5 billion-a-year cruise industry," Mr Katz told the ABC.
"This would initially involve restricted local cruises for local residents only, with limited passenger numbers, 100 per cent testing of guests and crew, and extensive screening and sanitation protocols in place."
Originally published as Australian cruises slapped with new ban