COVID-19

New push for Aussie cruises to set sail

Led by Carnival Australia, the delegates will be in Canberra on Tuesday to meet with parliamentarians and push to reopen the $6 billion sector.They want local cruises to be permitted in Australian waters. This is also what the Cruise Lines International Association is calling for in its Ready! Set! Sail! campaign, which has seen 40,000 emails sent to MPs pressing them to act on the issue.The Association recently said similar models are already running in parts of Europe and Asia, and operated under strict health protocols that would also apply here to members of the association, of which Carnival is a part.These include Covid-19 testing of all passengers and crew who must return a negative result before boarding, and others related to crew quarantine, distancing, sanitation and health monitoring.On June 10, the federal government hit the Australian cruise industry with another three-month pause, which the CLIA said was concerning but unsurprising.Mr Managan told The Australian the “lucrative tap” that is the cruise industry had been turned off, and that everyone from travel agents to suppliers and entertainers who rely on the industry were hurting.“Long before the pandemic started the federal and NSW governments had acknowledged the role of Australia’s cruising industry in growing our tourism sector,” Mr Mangan told The Australian. “It’s a floating hotel and it sure does create a lot of income for the economy.”Mr Mangan ran seven restaurants aboard P&O Cruises Australia and was set to open four more before the pandemic hit.Now, he runs two businesses, Glass at the Hitlton Sydney, and Lukes Kitchen which closed its Waterloo outfit in March and is due to reopen elsewhere later this year.“The roll-on effect (of shutting down the cruise industry) is too big for the government to ignore,” he said.He said The Rocks, near the overseas passenger terminal was full of international guests pre-pandemic, but was now “like a ghost town”.

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