Guests who have tested positive for COVID-19 on board the Coral Princess will isolate for five days on-board the ship, which arrived in Western Australia as the first cruise ship in two years.

The cruise ship docked in Broome on Monday morning after departing Sydney on October 11, during which an unknown number of passengers caught the virus.

From October 1, the WA Government relaxed its rules and allowed large cruise ships with a capacity of more than 350 guests to return to the state, with the Coral Princess being the first to do so.

Under new cruise ship protocols, COVID-positive passengers must isolate for at least five days, while their close contacts must test daily, wear a mask, and eat in a separate dining area.

President of Carnival Australia, the owner of Princess Cruises, Marguerite Fitzgerald said in a statement on Tuesday: “We continue to monitor closely the small number of guests who tested positive to COVID-19 on board Coral Princess.

“As a result of early detection and isolation, case numbers remain steady with a majority of our 2000 guests unimpacted. In line with our strict and robust protocols adopted by the WA Government, guests who test positive are required to isolate for a period of five days.

“These guests are being cared for in their staterooms by our medical and support staff. We are pleased to share that all cases on board have been mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic.

“For our remaining guests, they are able to move freely on board and disembark at upcoming destinations. This includes Geraldton where any disembarking guests will be required to undertake a Rapid Antigen Test prior to going ashore,” she continued.

“This is standard procedure and one that is well understood by our guests to protect themselves, other guests, our crew and the community.”

A WA Health spokesperson also released a statement saying the cruise ship operators should abide by the national eastern seaboard and Western Australian cruise protocols, as well as having their own COVID-19 plans.

“In accordance with the protocols, while in WA waters cruise operators should report COVID-19 cases to WA Health 12 to 24 hours prior to arrival in a WA port,” they said.

“Regarding the Coral Princess, WA Health has been advised of passengers and crew testing positive for COVID-19, and this evolving situation is being managed by the vessel operator according to its COVID-19 plan.

“Under the protocols, those onboard vessels who have COVID should isolate for five days.”