Myrmell expressed ‘profound disappointment’ at the move, saying P&O had been cruising from Australia for 88 years, supporting thousands of jobs as well as the economic life of the state and regional communities.
‘P&O ships have been the backbone of cruising in Australia,’ he said.
No illness on board
‘There is no illness on Pacific Explorer, no passenger or crew member has been tested positive for COVID-19. Yet the NSW Police has instructed Pacific Explorer to leave Sydney Harbour, the ship’s homeport.’
NSW Police standoff
NSW Police are in a standoff with foreign cruise ships, urging them to proceed immediately to their homeports rather than risk flooding NSW hospitals with COVID-19 patients.
Eight cruise ships carrying about 8,500 crew
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said there are eight cruise ships off NSW, carrying about 8,500 crew members.
In an attempt to ease the stalemate, Fuller said helicopters will be used to fly doctors on board to treat any crew members unwell and in need of urgent coronavirus treatment.
‘If the crew is fit and healthy, I have no hesitation in asking Minister Dutton (Peter Dutton, the minister for Home Affairs) to enforce the orders for them to leave our shores,’ he said.