The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee has removed cruise vaccination protocols.

The Federal Department of Health confirmed the updated Communicable Diseases Network Australia rules to Cruise Passenger. The states are set to follow, dropping current cruise mandates, likely to include vaccination and masks at embarkation.

“The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) has agreed to rescind the current CDNA Guidelines,” the statement said. “The CDNA Guidelines will be rescinded as of 25 August 2023 and will be archived.”

“With the wide availability and uptake of vaccination and oral treatments for COVID-19, the risks for the Australian population has reduced and public health measures taken by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments have changed accordingly.

“We have shifted to managing Covid consistent with other common communicable diseases, focusing on prevention and management of serious illness, hospitalisations and death.

“In this context, the AHPPC considers there is no longer a need for COVID-19 specific
recommendations and guidance to apply to the cruise industry.”

Passengers who are unvaccinated will be able to book their cruises this weekend.

The AHPPC though, will uphold recommendations for isolation for those who have Covid.

What the NSW Government said

The NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet had confirmed to Cruise Passenger that current Covid restrictions for cruising, including vaccinations, were on the way out.

The Premier told Cruise Passenger he strongly supports the changes.

“We need to move on and get life back to normal,” he said. “We’ll be removing restrictions on cruising, like the need for wearing a mask and having a Covid vaccination when boarding. There is no need for it anymore.

Chris Minns supported the mandate that remove cruise vaccination requirements.
Chris Minns supported dropping the mandates.

“Passengers should continue looking after their health before and during their cruise, including through vaccination. But Australia can’t remain the only country globally with these rules for cruising.”

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) told Cruise Passenger: “The removal of Covid-19 vaccination and testing requirements for cruise ship passengers will bring Australia into line with other jurisdictions around the world.

“The revival of cruise operations in Australia has been carefully managed since the middle of last year. And many hundreds of thousands of Australians have sailed successfully in local waters.

“As the current settings have become increasingly confusing for guests, CLIA and cruise lines have engaged with Federal and state health authorities to seek a consistent approach in line with current community standards. As other countries have now removed Covid-19 measures relating to cruising, Australia is now the only significant cruise destination in the world with ongoing testing and vaccination mandates.” 

Travel agents rejoice

Sharon Summerhayes, owner of Deluxe Cruise & Travel said: “My cruise agent colleagues and I, welcome the imminent repealing COVID-19 vaccination mandates from Australian cruising. Our cruise clientele, including those with young teens who were never under mandate during the pandemic itself, can now embark on their voyages without any undue constraints. This brings cruising from Australia in line with all other travel sectors worldwide.”

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