Surprise move after Covid outbreak on Aussie cruise ship
A Covid outbreak has infected around 100 passengers and crew on the Coral Princess cruise liner which docked in Brisbane on Sunday July 10.
According to Queensland authorities, a Covid outbreak on a cruise ship was expected. This led to Princess cruises offering refunds to the more than 2000 passengers – however, most refused the offer and decided to remain on board.
Over 2,300 guests and crew on the ship were headed to NSW. Of the 100 positive cases, only a small number of guests disembarked in Brisbane. Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said that Covid protocols were in place on the ship before the outbreak.
Some passengers are isolating at home or in separate accommodation while authorities help staff manager infected staff on board.
"This was always going to happen, just like the rest of the community,” Ms D’Ath said.
"The virus is everywhere and there's no escaping that, but I do want to acknowledge that the public health units, along with the cruise line, are doing all the right things and following the protocols in place."
A Princess Cruises spokesperson says they were doing everything possible to enable guests and crew to stay safe alongside COVID-19.
"We have also been open and transparent with guests on the effectiveness of our protocols and this has led to some recent media coverage," the spokesperson said.
"We are adhering to comprehensive protocols that were agreed in conjunction with federal and state authorities and we are confident that they are working effectively."
The spokesperson said protocols included regular testing of crew, who must all be fully vaccinated, and isolation if they test positive.
"In answer to media inquiries at the weekend, we noted that fewer than 20 guests on the previous cruise had tested positive," they said.
"The health and well-being of our guests and crew remain our main priority and the protocols being followed on board are working."
A Queensland Health spokesperson said the cases on the cruise ship were expected and they were prepared to manage them.