The ban on cruise ships from coming to Australia has been extended for an extra three months.
The Australian Border Force (ABF) announced over the weekend that the restriction on cruise ships carrying more than 100 passengers from operating in Australian waters has been extended to 17 September 2020.
The Governor-General extended the human biosecurity emergency period on 15 May, to end on 17 September instead of 17 June to enable the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, to continue using emergency powers under the Commonwealth Biosecurity Act to control the spread of COVID-19.
On 20 May, Hunt extended the ban on the arrival at an Australian port of any international cruise ship that has left a foreign port. The restrictions included direct arrivals and round trip cruises (RTC).
When this restriction was first granted on 27 March, 2020, there were 28 international cruise ships in Australian waters, however, ABF said it has since helped them all to safely depart.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) managing director Australasia Joel Katz told Travel Weekly the cruise industry remains focused on developing a new global health framework to uphold the safety of guests and crew when the time is right to resume sailing.
“CLIA and its cruise line members are working with medical experts and health authorities internationally to lay a new foundation for the cruise sector, involving comprehensive measures in response to COVID-19,” Katz said.
“We will ultimately be guided by governments and health authorities on the future resumption of cruise operations, and are using this time to ensure we learn as much as possible from these unprecedented events and develop the best possible protocols in response.”
ABF said it has been working closely with the cruise industry which has been cooperative and understands the Government’s overwhelming priority to ensure the health and safety of the broader Australian community.
Featured image source: MCCAIG