Coronavirus Lockdown: Cruise Passengers in Australia to be Quarantined with the quokkas

A passenger of the Ruby Princess who tested positive to COVID-19 has died with authorities now investigating how the ship docked and cleared the border

ABC has reported that WA Premier Mark McGowan thought the idea of Rottnest as a potential quarantine site sounded nearly "ridiculous", when the preparations began.

Passengers and crew who are foreigners, including 109 New Zealanders and 33 from the United Kingdom, will only be allowed to disembark if they need urgent medical attention or to go directly to the global airport when arrangements are made.

Seven passengers have tested positive for Covid-19 aboard the Artania, which had been due to travel onward to South Africa but is now anchored near the port of Fremantle.

Eight hundred Australian passengers from the Vasco da Gama cruise ship will reside on the 19-square-kilometer (7 square miles) island just off the coast of Perth for 14 days.

MSC Cruises, which has said it had no ill passengers, declined to comment on its destination.

No one will be allowed to leave a cruise ship in Sydney until tough new guidelines are signed off by our Federal and State authorities.

A second cruise ship, the MSC Magnifica, which refuelled in Perth this week, is now in Western Australian waters after being refused entry in Dubai.

"The New South Wales government admitted yesterday it had made a monumental error in not forcing stricter health safeguards on these passengers", Mr Kenny said.

Western Australia is preparing Rottnest island, a former prison island, to quarantine some of the 800 Australians aboard a third cruise ship, the British-operated Vasco de Gama.

Shipowner Britain's Cruise & Maritime Voyages said it was carrying no unwell passengers or staff.

Two other cruise ships are in nearby waters. As per worldwide media reports, 800 people will be housed in the existing and vacated island, which includes a hostel, bungalows, cabins and dormitories.

The revelations by Australian Border Force Commissioner Michael Outram outlined with great detail how NSW Health gave passengers on the cruise ship permission to disembark without conducting a single test.

Long queues have continued to spool around welfare offices across the country, while more than a quarter of a million Australians registered for financial help on Wednesday, according to the government services minister.

Further job losses are also expected, with some economists expecting Australian unemployment rate to double this year to more than 11%.

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.



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