The COVID-19 pandemic is already challenging the seafarers and passengers who are left onboard cruise ships in Australian waters, after the country decided to ban all foreign cruise vessels as soon as possible. In mid-march, Australia along with New Zealand announced the ban of cruise ships arrivals at their foreign ports to avoid the spread of the disease, beginning for 30 days.
The Australian Port of Townsville recently announced that is set to establish a new $30 million valued crane and cargo container terminal. Namely, the port’s upgrade came following the heavy machinery and traffic of the shipping containers.
Australia launched a criminal investigation regarding a COVID-19 infected cruise ship which was allowed to dock in Sydney before releasing thousands of passengers directly into the community.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan urged the cruise ship “Artania”, which is docked in Fremantle, to leave the port amid fears that more potential coronavirus cases may harm the state’s health system.
The Victorian branch of the Maritime Union of Australia have refused to unload a cargo vessel in Melbourne, due to health and safety claims. This decision made Shipping Australia condemn the action.
Oil and gas producer Santos Ltd announced it will cut its full-year spending and defer an investment decision on Barossa as oil prices plunge and the coronavirus outbreak dents business sentiment.
A total of 26 people onboard the cruise ship Ruby Princess have tested positive for COVID-19, a Sunday update by NSW Health reads. In this regard, NSW Health authorities introduced an increased testing regime for cruise ships at the ports.
Maritime officials in Queensland, Australia have ordered all foreign trading ships to essentially self-quarantine before entering their ports due to the COVID-19 crisis. Vessels are advised to contact port authorities if crew member or passenger is showing any coronavirus symptoms that include fever, flu-like symptoms cough, sore throat, headache or difficulty breathing.
Australian port authorities announced that all cargo vessels may enter any port after the timeframe of 14 days, to ensure that there is no potential case of COVID-19 onboard and amongst the crew. Yet, there are oppositions arguing that this decision may lead to supply chain shortages of goods for everyday consumer needs.
The Australian Prime Minister announced the implementation of improved restrictions by midnight of March 15, for those entering from any overseas destination.
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