Northern Rivers couple at sea for 20 days to be quarantined
UPDATE: NORTHERN Rivers residents Anne Kotz said ship crew announced yesterday afternoon passengers from Western Australia will be sent to Rottnest Island on Monday, but other passengers have been left in the dark.
"There are no details for the rest us," she said.
"They keep changing it all the time."
ORIGINAL STORY: A NORTHERN Rivers couple are among at least 800 others who will be quarantined on Rottnest Island in Western Australia when a cruise ship carrying an estimated 1500 people arrives in Fremantle on Friday.
Australian Premier Mark McGowan has intervened in the ship's plans and Australians from the Vasco da Gama due to arrive south of Perth on Friday will be taken by ferry to Rottnest Island, 22km off Perth.
The announcement comes despite there being no recorded health concerns among passengers or crew.
The residents from Backmede, near Casino, Anne Kotz and her husband, have been on-board at sea for 19 days after booking the half world cruise to London.
"If we had of cancelled we would have lost around $25-30,000," Mrs Kotz said about the decision to go on the cruise.
"Everyone is feeling very frustrated because we were told to make our arrangements to go home between tomorrow and Saturday and then the Premier of WA announced to the media that 800 on board here were to be sent to Rottnest Island for a fortnight and we've already done 19 days.
"Everyone is feeling is very frustrated at lack of decision taken by the government."
She said her travel agent, Janelle Beucker, had been "marvellous support".
"We've not been told anything by the government. It's like they're deciding something happens and then they turned around and say 'well, we will do this'.
"This is a reaction to the fact they didn't test them from the Ruby Princess and they are making us pay."
She said the couple were aware they will return to bizarre conditions, but everything on board has been business as usual.
"They've had quizzes and quoits and normal cruise ship entertainment.
"A lot of people are walking around with books. Luckily the sea has been kind to us and hasn't been rough.
"It's the frustration of not being told what is happening.
"The bar staff and buffet staff have been marvellous.
"There are so many rumours going around and until you get told something officially you don't believe it.
"Here on the ship everyone walks around - we're not locked in our room or confined.
"They haven't told us whether we will be confined to a room at Rottnest Island."
Phone signal cut out with Ms Kotz at this point but we will keep in touch with her as the situation unfolds.