The Commonwealth of Australia has announced that, based on medical advice, it will be lifting its ban on cruise ships starting April 17, 2022.
The country’s current ban on allowing international cruise ships in and out of its ports is set to expire on that date, the Australian government will not be renewing it. The country put the ban into place in March 2020 as COVID-19 began to take hold across the world.
To ensure that international cruising is safe when it returns to Australia, the country has put a number of measures into place, including:
- Enhanced pre-arrival reporting and identification of COVID-19 risk through more questions of passengers and improved processes.
- Stress testing of the emergency response system in relation to cruises.
- Engaging with the cruise industry on safe resumption.
- A vaccination requirement for passengers.
Cruise ships will still need to meet all state and territory public health requirements where they dock. The cruise industry’s own mandates will also help reduce the risk of transmission aboard ships.
“On the basis of medical advice and with the agreement of National Cabinet, lifting the cruise ban is consistent with the reopening of Australia’s international border and shows that we have successfully navigated Australia’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt said.
The Minister for Trade, Tourism, and Investment Dan Tehan said the resumption of cruising in Australia is an important milestone in the government’s response to the pandemic. “This is great news for the cruise industry, tourism, the broader economy and the Australians who love to take a cruise holiday. The resumption of cruising is another key step forward in the tourism sector’s recovery from COVID-19. We look forward to welcoming cruise ships and passengers back to Australian waters.”
Already, Princess Cruises has announced its plans to return to sailing in Australia starting this June.