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COVID-19 Cruise Ship Risk Should be Mitigated by Government

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Saturday, 14 March 2020

Tags: Health, COVID-19, Cruise Ships

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson

Last night Tasmania reported its fifth case of COVID-19, and this morning the cruise ship Magnifica decided to lock down all passengers on board for their own health and safety.

The State Government should be calling the shots to protect Tasmanians from an increase in COVID-19 cases. It should not be passively hoping the thousands of people aboard each visiting cruise ship are infection-free.

The Swiss-owned cruise company is clearly alert to the concerning rapid speed of infection in many parts of Europe, and is doing everything it can to look after passengers. We welcome their decision, but it should not be left up to operators to make.

Why has the State Government not banned all cruise ships from allowing their passengers to disembark? If cruise ship companies can see the public health sense, why not the government?

The Federal Government was clear in their advice that gatherings above 500 people should be prevented. Tasmania should be listening, and acting in accordance with this advice.  

In the interests of public health, and the risk-reduction strategy of social distancing, the Premier should announce a ban on cruise ship passengers disembarking until the COVID-19 disease risk has abated.