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The Federal Government is expected to this week confirm the ban will end on April 17, at which point management of the cruise liners and passengers will be handed over to state governments.
“It has made no sense to me that we can have a situation right now where people can fly overseas, jump on a cruise and come home, but we can’t go cruising from our own country,” Mr Perrottet said.
State and territory governments are now in planning to get health protocols ready to support a safe return to cruising.
Federal Tourism Minister Dan Tehan said an official announcement confirming the lifting of the ban could be made this week.
“The Minister’s comments are very encouraging and the industry now has greater confidence that we could see a green light soon,” Australasia’s Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) chief Joel Katz told 9news.com.au in a statement.
“There’s still work to be done, but all indications are that we’re on track for a revival in Australia over coming months.”
Once the ban is lifted, it will take some time for global cruise ship companies to send their giant vessels back down into Australia and to reach pre-pandemic activity and booking levels.
Two years ago the Ruby Princess famously docked in Sydney, bringing COVID-19 to Australia’s doorstep.
More than 900 passengers on the ship eventually caught coronavirus, which led to 28 deaths.
The handling of the ship’s docking triggered a NSW Police investigation and a government inquiry.