Service ban foreign cruise ships was introduced to Australia in March 2020. Passengers infected with COVID-19 were found on the Ruby Princess ship docked in Sydney. The cancellation of cruises is estimated to have cost the Australian economy US$7.4 billion.
After the federal ban is lifted, each Australian state will decide when ports will reopen. Now. Safety measures include vaccination requirements for crew and passengers over 12, testing protocols and masks.
The P&O Cruises Australia Pacific Explorer will be one of the first ships to dock in Sydney Harbor. The ship will depart for its first voyage since the pandemic at the end of May.
According to official figures, 1.6 million cruise passengers visited Sydney in 2017 and 2018. The tourism industry has expressed concern that despite the pent-up demand for cruises, it is not yet clear how long the fear of the threat of infection on board will last among potential tourists.
Australia eased most border restrictions this year, citing strong numbers vaccinations and the need to learn to coexist with the coronavirus in normal life.