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April 12 updates: Many Greg Mortimer cruisers repatriated, new Sydney terminal stalled, Ruby Princess crew staying put

PHOTO: RODNEY HAYWOOD Sydney Harbor by Rodney Haywood.jpg
The COVID-19 outbreak has stalled plans for a third cruise terminal in Sydney that would take ships too big to go under Harbour Bridge
In addition to feature story coverage, here's a quick read of some of today’s other coronavirus-related cruise news and announcements.

Greg Mortimer charter flight arrives in Australia

A charter flight carrying 96 Australian and 16 New Zealand passengers arrived in Melbourne Sunday morning.

Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne thanked Uruguay’s government for its assistance in facilitating the return of the Australians and New Zealanders who were stranded aboard Greg Mortimer. They were brought ashore and transferred to the charter flight via what the Uruguayan government called a ‘humanitarian corridor’ with strict biosecurity measures.

Foreign Affairs said five Australians were hospitalised in Montevideo.

Uruguay had originally refused to let passengers off the ship but later sent medical teams aboard to monitor the situation. As earlier reported, 59% of the 217 people tested positive as of a few days ago.

A plan is being developed to repatriate the European and US passengers.

COVID-19 strikes Sydney’s much-needed third terminal 

The NSW government will delay plans for the much-needed third cruise terminal in Sydney by up to 18 months.

Transport and Ports Minister Andrew Constance said the proposal for a cruise terminal for ships too big to go under the Sydney Harbour Bridge at Yarra Bay or Molineaux Point, next to Botany Bay, have been ‘put on hold with all industry and community engagement suspended.’

Constance said the terminal is not a priority for the government or industry in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis.

Princess denies sending ships for Ruby’s crew

A spokesman for Princess Cruises denied a media report on Sunday that it is sending ships to Australia to repatriate Ruby Princess crew.

‘There is no such plan,’ the spokesman said.

However, he said, ‘we continue to be closely involved in ensuring the welfare of our crew.’

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