Australia to allow return of cruise ships after 2-year Covid ban

Sydney, Australia, March 15 (EFE).- Australia will again allow the entry and exit of international cruise ships next month after two years of closed ports to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The lifting of the docking ban on Apr. 17 will allow international cruise ships carrying double vaccinated passengers and meeting a series of health and safety requirements and protocols, the government said on Tuesday.

“The resumption of cruising is another key step forward in the tourism sector’s recovery from Covid-19,” said Minister of Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan in a statement.

In 2019, Australia received 600,000 passengers on board 350 ships.

The government banned the entry of cruise ships in March 2020 after the Ruby Princess, which docked in Sydney that month, became the first major source of community infections in Australia after the disembarkation of some 2,700 passengers.

The health authorities linked some 900 cases and 28 deaths to the ship, which came from the United States.

Australia, which has administered two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to 95 percent of its population over 16 years of age, has accumulated 3.6 million cases and more than 5,600 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Cases in Australia skyrocketed with the progressive reopening of its international borders, from Nov. 1, and the emergence of the Omicron variant. EFE


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