The Vasco da Gama cruise liner is expected to arrive in Australia on Friday in the port city of Fremantle. The huge cruise ship is carrying 950 passengers and 550 crew, including 33 Britons. The Australian passengers, which make up 800 passengers, will be allowed to disembark from the ship and take to a nearby island called Rottnest.
Once there, they will be put into a 14-day period of quarantine to make sure that if they have coronavirus it does not spread.
However, the 33 Britons also on board the ship will be forced to remain there until they can be flown directly back to the UK, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan told reporters: “All crew and foreign nationals will remain on the ship until arrangements are made to fly them directly out of the country.
“They will not be allowed to disembark at any time, unless it is to travel under strict supervision, directly to the airport, or they need urgent medical attention to survive.”
CEO of CMV Christian Verhounig said:“Due to this fast-evolving global pandemic, we are simply unable to continue performing our scheduled itineraries and to deliver the travel experience expected by our valued passengers.
“We have therefore taken the very difficult decision to temporarily suspend all cruises until Friday 24 April 2020 when we very much hope to be able to resume service.
“These are indeed challenging circumstances but rest assured, they will be overcome with fortitude and the minimum of disruption”.
Another two cruise ships have also been forced to divert after being told they cannot dock at Fremantle, according to ABC.
So far, they have only have one death.
Western Australia also has temporary new liquor restrictions.
Mr McGowan said on Twitter: “They are temporary and sensible measures that will help ensure our State is in a strong position to respond to COVID-19.Alcohol-related issues take up an enormous amount of resources in our health system.
“These are resources we simply cannot afford to spare during this time.”
Published at Wed, 25 Mar 2020 10:58:00 +0000