The Australian Border Force (ABF) today announced that cruise ships are banned from entering Australia's territorial waters until at least September 17, 2020. The ban was expected to come to an end in June, but is now extended for 3 more months due to the ongoing global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to ABF, any cruise vessel with max passenger capacity 100+ is prohibited from operating voyages in Australia. ABF's statement (Friday, May 22):
“On 15 May, the Governor-General extended the human biosecurity emergency period for an additional three months, from 17 June to 17 September 2020,”
“This has enabled the Minister for Health to continue to exercise the emergency powers under the Commonwealth Biosecurity Act to prevent or control the spread of COVID-19."
On Wednesday, May 20, Australia's Health Minister extended the determination to prohibit the arrival at an Australian port of any international cruise ship that has left a foreign port. The restrictions included both roundtrips and direct arrivals - excepting technical stops (for provisioning and fuelling).
According to ABF, when the restriction was first granted (March 27), there had been 28 international cruise vessels in Australian waters. Under this direction, ABF had enabled those ships and their crew to safely depart.