No Cruise Ship Passengers Allowed Off Ships 'Until Further Notice' As NSW Flags Further Shutdown
Passengers will not be allowed to disembark from cruise ships in NSW, the state's premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Thursday.
"I do not want any action taken further in relation to releasing any passengers off any boat in Sydney until we get a tick off from all authorities moving forward on new protocols," she said in a morning update.
NSW has confirmed an additional 190 cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, with total cases now climbing to 1,219.
It comes after the NSW government faced heavy criticism for allowing thousands of passengers from the Ruby Princess ship to disembark in Sydney Harbour last Thursday.
This was despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison previously announcing cruise ships would be banned from entering Australian ports.
A 68-year-old Queensland man who docked in Sydney on a Royal Caribbean cruise became NSW’s seventh death from COVID-19 on Wednesday night.
A woman in her 70s from the Ruby Princess Ship also died from coronavirus, and more than 300 passengers from the cruise ship have tested positive for the disease.
The state’s chief health officer said NSW Health is expecting to see an increase in people testing positive to COVID-19.
"Because we will be expecting, with returning travellers coming in, that we do see an increase in the returning travellers' positivity, because of the high rates of disease in some countries overseas from which they're returning,” Dr Kerry Chant said.
"Those individuals will be required to self-isolate in the home, and that then blocks any transmission to the broader community in New South Wales,” she added.
“We'll be particularly looking at those cases where we don't find any links to either overseas travel or known clusters or other confirmed cases.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trad told 10 daily they are aware of about 25 cruise ships and 3,000 passengers on board who are seeking to return to Australia.
DFAT "continues to work closely with the cruise industry and cruise line operators to provide advice to Australian passengers on cruise ships with itineraries impacted by COVID-19," a spokesperson said.
"DFAT is regularly updating its travel advice, including specific bulletins on cruises. DFAT stands ready to provide consular support to those Australians on board."
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