The Australian Government has announced a three month extension of the cruise ban, putting more jobs in jeopardy but holding out hope for small ships to set sail domestically.
The Department of Health responded to Cruise Passenger’s queries regarding the end of the cruise ban yesterday by saying: â€śAt this time, there has been no date set for the resumption of either larger domestic or international cruisesâ€ť.
But last night, Health Minister Greg Hunt announced an extension of the ban on cruise ships entering Australian waters until December 17th – and a halt to overseas travel until the same date.
The Federal Government has stopped any international cruise ship with 100 or more passengers from docking at the nation’s ports. Australians are also banned from leaving the country by air or sea unless they’re a resident of another country.
Those measures will now stay in place until December 17 – meaning Australia has effectively been without travel for nine months, and our cruise season has been cancelled.
The coronavirus fallout has also seen as many as 532,000 jobs and up to $21.3 billion in wages and salaries lost this year in the travel and tourism industries across the country.
The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) will determine when we can begin our countdown.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) commissioned an analysis into the cost of the cruise ban to September and beyond. The study found that the suspension is likely to cost Australia more than $1.4 billion in lost economic activity by mid-September.
It predicts another $3.8 billion will be lost as the ban continues into the peak tourism season of summer. The extension will also put another 13,000 jobs at risk.
CLIA said tonight: “We look forward to the formation of a working group with government to progress a pathway to a carefully managed and responsible resumption of cruise tourism in Australia at the earliest appropriate time.
“CLIA sees opportunity for a controlled and phased resumption of local cruise operations in Australia, with strict and enhanced health protocols in place.”
However, some local lines are planning to sail.Â Coral Expeditions will be launching in mid October, and True North is already operating in the Kimberleys.
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