The cruise industry has been dealt a huge blow recently due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. And as countries gear up to kickstart their tourism industries, some holidaymakers are left wondering what the future will hold for the cruise sector. For those hoping to enjoy a cruise voyage in the near future, you may be left disappointed after Australia and Spain announced that they will be extending its cruise ship ban.
Australia’s Minister for Health has extended the ban until September 16, 2020.
The extension will prohibit international cruise ships which sailed from a foreign port from entering an Australian port.
The Australian Border Force said in a statement: “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.
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“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.”
The rules were first put in place on March 27 which prohibited any cruise ship carrying more than 100 passengers from operating cruises in Australia.
The Australia Border Force confirmed that it has remained in contact with the cruise industry.
New Zealand’s current cruise ship ban will expire on June 30, but this could also be extended.
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Australia’s latest move to halt the spread of the deadly coronavirus comes just days after Spain announced it was also extending its restrictions on cruise ships.
Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez recently announced that the country will be opening to tourists this year despite the country suffering from a high case and death rate from coronavirus earlier in the year.
He implored tourists to “book your holidays” even though most countries still have extensive travel bans in place.
Spain’s restrictions on cruise ships will remain in place until the country’s state of emergency is lifted.
It comes as cruise ships were one of the worst impacted modes of transport from the coronavirus.
Cruise update: “The restrictions included direct arrivals and Round Trip Cruises”
One of the worst impacted cruise ships was the Diamond Princess, owned by Princess Cruises.
The ship was quarantined in a port in Japan from February 4 2020 for approximately one month.
Over 700 people were infected on board and 14 people died.
Many cruise ships were then prevented from docking at ports around the world.
In total, over 40 cruise ships confirmed positive cases of coronavirus.
International travel post-lockdown
Andy Harmer, UK and Ireland director of Cruise Lines International Association (Clia) said that the cruise industry is leaning to adapt to the coronavirus outbreak.
He told the Daily Telegraph: “As we face the prospect of new restrictions impacting our daily lives, we are all being tested, and I’m proud that our cruising community has been stepping up to the challenge.
“I know that everyone is working around the clock to adapt to the new landscape we find ourselves in, and are making every effort to keep customers informed with updated information, even as developments are seeming to occur so rapidly.
“Our customers should feel assured that our industry remains focused on their safety, health and well-being.”