Australia Extends Cruise Restriction Until March 2021

The Carnival Spirit in Sydney, Australia

The human biosecurity emergency period in Australia will be extended by another three months, until March 17, 2021, the country’s ministry of health stated. This includes limitations on cruise sailings, as well as other types of international travel.

“The human biosecurity emergency declaration ensures the government has the powers to take any necessary measures to prevent and control COVID-19 and protect the health of all Australians. These powers have been used on a limited basis following expert medical advice,” said Greg Hunt, minister of health.

“(This recommendation to extend the period) was informed by specialist medical and epidemiological advice provided by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) and Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer,” Hunt explained.

According to the AHPPC, this move is an “appropriate response” to the public health risk that comes from the COVID-19 pandemic, Hunt said.

The human biosecurity emergency period under the Biosecurity Act 2015 was first introduced on March 18, 2020. It includes limitations on the movement of cruise vessels, outbound international travel, and restrictions on the operation of retail stores at international airports.

“These restrictions are reviewed regularly and take into account the latest expert medical advice. They can be amended or removed at any time based on the expert medical advice,” Hunt said.

He added that the government is “working closely with state and territory agencies and the cruise industry, to develop a framework for the staged resumption of cruise ships in a manner that is proportionate to the public health risk.”

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