These close contacts have been ordered to take rapid antigen tests and quarantine for seven days. They must remain in quarantine for seven days, even if the tests are negative.
The flagship of Cairns-based Coral Expeditions was about to make a circumnavigation of Tasmania.
Commercial Director Jeff Gillies said the infected guests were detected during routine on-board testing shortly after Coral Discoverer sailed from Hobart, and the ship returned to port.
Gillies said the company has transferred everyone to local hotels for the quarantine period and it will continue to support them and work closely with Tasmania’s health officials.
He said Coral Discoverer will remain at dock in Hobart with sailings cancelled until January 16 at this time.
Protocols in order
Coral Discoverer had been following all the necessary COVID-19 protocols to be operating in Tasmanian waters.
‘The domestic cruise ship was operating in line with agreed protocols that enable the operation of domestic cruise ships in Tasmanian waters,’ Tasmania’s Director of Public Health Mark Veitch said.
However, Dr Veitch said despite the company’s SailSAFE Plan, the nature of the operation and closeness of passengers and crew meant there was significant exposure and a high risk of transmission.
Incident-free until now
’Since resuming operations in October 2020, we have operated 93 incident-free voyages around the coastline of Australia, hosting over 3,500 guests,’ Gillies said.
‘We operate with approval from all state and territory health authorities in line with our SailSAFE medical protocols. All guests and crew have to complete pre-embarkation PCR and RAT tests and have to be fully vaccinated.’