4 Cruise Ships Given Permission to Dock in Australia Despite Coronavirus Ban

   March 21, 2020 ,   Accidents

Almost 2700 cruise ship passengers are being allowed to disembark in Port Sydney NSW in the face of a national Coronavirus (COVID-19) crackdown.

Four liners have been given special permission to dock in Australia, despite the issued 30-day ban. Australia's Federal Health Minister (Greg Hunt) insists the vessels are arriving under "strict conditions". He also confirmed that Border Force Commissioner Michael Outram had contacted NSW authorities after the handling of Ruby Princess' arrival in Sydney Harbour had been criticized. Four people from the ship had tested positive for Coronavirus - 3 passengers who had been taken to hospital and a 4th person (crew) who remained in shipboard isolation.

Despite this, all of the 2647 passengers were allowed to disembark at Circular Quay, sparking fears they could spread the virus throughout the community. Ryan Park, NSW Opposition health spokesman, branded the situation "absurd".

Port of Sydney (NSW Australia)

NSW Health had contacted all cruise passengers to reinforce the importance of the 14-day self-isolation. More than 1000 crew remain quarantined on Ruby Princess.

Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a 30-day ban on foreign cruise vessels docking in Australia. The Government made an exemption for 4 vessels that were already on their way, including Ruby Princess. A second ship arrived in Port Fremantle-Perth on Saturday and a third is scheduled to dock in Darwin NT this week.

All onboard are required to self-isolate for 14 days. Greg Hunt said that state's health authorities had a process to deal with anyone who was suspected of carrying COVID-19.

For other Ruby Princess accidents and incidents see at the ship's CruiseMinus page.

For Coronavirus updates on cruise ship quarantines (infected passengers and crew) and top-pandemic countries (COVID-19 cases and deaths, daily updated statistics) see at CruiseMapper's Norovirus page.