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Thousands of Australian passengers onboard CMV’s Vasco da Gama have been left in limbo after Premier Mark McGowan said that only West Australian residents will be allowed to quarantine in the state.

The ship, which was originally meant to start disembarking passengers on Friday 27 March, will now let passengers off on Monday 30 March – three days later than originally agreed with the West Australian government.

Mr McGowan said West Australians would be allowed to self-isolate on Rottnest Island, and other Australians would have to be transported back to their home state or territory.

He said that West Australia is currently liaising with the other states and territories for, but there is currently no agreement to get passengers home.

The ship has reported that no passenger or crew members have presented with symptoms of COVID-19. The ship has currently been at sea for 16 days straight without disembarking or picking up new passengers.

CMV’s Managing Director, Dean Brazier lashed out at the Mr McGowan yesterday for failing to tell the cruise line the change of plans to its passengers.

Guests found out from news reports, that all Australian guests would have to be quarantined on Rottnest Island for 14-days, while plans for New Zealand passengers were still pending.

“We are doing everything we can to gather the facts of this situation as soon as possible to advise our guests, agents and community of this change. Unfortunately, we cannot confirm all details until the Western Australian Premier’s office consults with us. At this stage, we understand that on Monday, all Western Australians will be transferred to Rottnest Island to spend 14 days in self-isolation before being allowed to continue with their onwards journey,” said Mr Brazier.

“Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan has indicated via media reports that he is awaiting notice from other states and territories as to transport arrangements for the rest of our Australian guests, and at this stage they will no longer be permitted to self-isolate on Rottnest Island as he originally announced yesterday.”

There are currently 798 Australians and 108 New Zealanders onboard. Mr Brazier said, based on the premier’s announcement, guests from New Zealand would be staying onboard the ship, until they can travel directly to New Zealand.

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