Australia’s New South Wales ends COVID-19 protocols in cruise ship industry

The cruise industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. (File)

The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) on Monday put an end to its COVID-19 rules for cruising, which was previously introduced in April last year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the NSW government, the protocols once required all passengers aged 12 years and over to get fully vaccinated to board a cruise ship when departing or arriving at a port.

The rules also enforced mask-wearing, including when embarking and disembarking, and mandating negative COVID-19 test results before departure.

“We need to get life back to normal. We have scrapped these rules because they aren’t needed anymore,” said NSW Premier Chris Minns.

“These protocols were important at the time to get the cruising industry going again after COVID. They were never meant to remain forever,” Minns added.

NSW’s move followed an announcement on Friday by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee on rescinding the current Communicable Diseases Network Australia National Guidelines for Cruising in Australia.

The committee believed that there is no longer a need for COVID-19-specific recommendations and guidance to apply to the cruise industry. ■


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