Australia announced it will extend the cruise ship ban for another three months.
The ban, which comes under the federal biosecurity laws, was set to expire on 17 December.
A further extension is a blow to the industry which generates about $5 billion in economic activity, according to CLIA Australasia.
CLIA had called for an end to the blanket ban which should be replaced by a phased resumption in 2021, following specific protocols agreed by all CLIA member cruise lines.
Joel Katz, CLIA’s managing director for Australasia, recently called for a tightly managed resumption of cruises within Australia.
The proposal was for ‘restricted local cruises for local residents only, with limited passenger numbers, 100% testing, and extensive screening and sanitation protocols in place.’
“The international world remains a challenging and dangerous environment and Australia won’t be fully safe until the international community is safe. We know this is very hard for Australians,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said as he announced the extension of the biosecurity emergency period.
Australians are only allowed to leave the country under specific exemptions.
Hunt said so far, 95,000 exemptions have been granted.