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Australia extends cruise ship suspension until mid-March

Health Minister Greg Hunt has taken expert medical advice
Australia extended its human biosecurity emergency period, involving the suspension of cruise operations and overseas travel, for another three months until March 17.

The suspension has been in place since March 18 and was set to cease December 17.

Unacceptable risk

Health Minister Greg Hunt said Tuesday that the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee and Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer advised that the international COVID-19 situation continues to pose an unacceptable public health risk.

Hunt said the extension of the emergency period is ‘an appropriate response to that risk.’

Framework for resumption of cruising

He said the Australian government is working closely with state and territory agencies and the cruise industry to develop a framework for the staged resumption of cruising in a manner that is proportionate to the public health risk.

Cruise Lines International Association Australasia MD Joel Katz welcomed the government’s statement. 

Working with government  

‘We look forward to working with government to plan a careful revival of the country’s A$5bn-a-year cruise industry,’ Katz said.