CruiseCLIA Australia is pushing for Covid-19 safety plan to replace the government's cruise ban.

Not yet smooth sailing Down Under

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Australia's current cruise ban will expire on 17 December.
Australia's current cruise ban will expire on 17 December.

Ahead of the cruising ban that will soon be lifted off Australia on 17 December, Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) has proposed a safety plan to initiate the restart into 2021.

According to CLIA, guests and crew who wish to sail will have to go through mandatory Covid-19 testing, daily health monitoring and temperature checks. Just like in Singapore, where cruises have resumed since early November, tickets will be open to local residents only, with limited passengers quantities allowed on board each time.

"Australia's relative success in stemming community transmission of Covid-19 — together with the Australasian cruise industry's robust strategy — creates an opportunity for a tightly managed and phased revival of the country's A$5 billion (US$3.7 billion)-a-year cruise industry," Joel Katz, CLIA's managing director for Australasia was reported as saying by the ABC report.

With the country borders still closed, ships may operate only within Australian states or national borders, and must be quarantined once they return. The industry continues to be in talks with the Federal Government to form a "framework for the resumption of cruising".

Initially scheduled to end three months ago on 17 September, the ban on cruise ships in Australia waters was extended following a spike in local cases.

As of 7 December, major cities have reported significantly fewer cases — including the 38th consecutive day of zero new cases in Victoria. Australia has recorded 27,783 confirmed cases, including 908 deaths, according to ABC News.

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