Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews demanded assurances from Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison that a charter plane carrying 80 stranded Australian cruise passengers infected with Coronavirus (COVID-19) could be landed in Melbourne without endangering the health of locals.
The flight from Uruguay was scheduled to touch down at Tullamarine early Sunday, April 12, carrying around 112 passengers, most from the Coronavirus-stricken Greg Mortimer cruise ship which had been stranded in the South American nation for over 2 weeks.
The operator of the ship (Marella Cruises) confirmed this week that 128 of 217 people onboard )~60%) had tested positive for the virus.
The former cruisers are among ~1200 Australians being flown home in a rescue mission by the Commonwealth to land at Tullamarine Airport over the weekend, with flights from Peru and India landing Friday and Saturday. Currently, there are no reports of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Lima Peru or Delhi India flights but all incoming tourists will be 2-week quarantined at Melbourne hotels.
Premier Andrews' concerns follow the ill-fated decision to allow the Coronavirus-hit Ruby Princess to dock in Sydney Australia on March 19, resulting in dozens of new cases spreading the virus across the country.
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.