SYDNEY - Foreign cruise ships anchored off the coast of New South Wales in Australia have been told by police go home immediately.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said there are six cruise ships either docked in the state or waiting off the coast.
"We will continue to allow them to have fuel and food ... but it is time to go to your port of origin," the police chief said.
Authorities fear that allowing cruise passengers to disembark in Sydney could overwhelm the state’s hospital system. There were on Monday night 285 coronavirus infections in NSW linked to cruise ships.
Mr Fuller says health authorities would continue to treat stranded cruise passengers on humanitarian grounds.
In Western Australian the state government allowed passengers from the cruise ship Artania to dock in Fremantle where passengers, mainly German, were driven in a police-escorted bus convoy to Perth airport, where charter planes flew them to Frankfurt.
More than 40 people from the Artania who tested positive for the coronavirus were taken to a local hospital.