The Australian cruise industry has been dealt a savage blow today [Friday 22 May 2020] with the Australian Border Force (ABF) announcing a three-month extension of its ban on cruise ships entering local waters.
The ABF’s extension prohibits cruise ships of more than 100 passengers from operating cruises in Australia until 17 September 2020.
“On 15 May 2020, the Governor-General has 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,” the ABF said in a statement.
“On 20 May 2020, the Minister for Health 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 direct arrivals and Round Trip Cruises.”
There were 28 international cruise ships in Australian waters at the time of the ABF’s first ruling. Under this direction, the Australian Border Force enabled these ships and their crew to safely depart.
“The Australian Border Force has been in constant contact 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.”
This week, Silversea Cruises’ outgoing Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand, Adam Armstrong, said he was “quietly optimistic” that cruising may be added under the proposed “trans-Tasman bubble”. Silversea has two ships scheduled to arrive in local waters at the back end of 2020, Silver Muse and Silver Explorer.
Lead image: Sydney Overseas Passenger Terminal