Cruise passengers will be banned from disembarking any ship in NSW, following a new advisory from Premier Gladys Berejiklian in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Berejiklian addressed media on Thursday morning, advising that “nobody will be getting off a ship in NSW until further notice”.
“I want to thank the New South Wales Police Force for assisting with that (banning) process,” she said.
“As everybody appreciates, this is important for the community to know this is where we stand and I do not want any action taken further in relation to releasing any passengers off any boat in Sydney until we get a tick off from all authorities on the new protocols moving forward.”
Ms Berejiklian’s new advice comes after 2700 passengers were allowed off the Ruby Princess cruise ship on March 19, despite NSW Health receiving information about passengers suffering from respiratory illnesses on board.
On Wednesday, the Commissioner of the Australian Border Force Michael Outram pointed the finger at NSW Health for allowing the “disaster” to happen.
RELATED: Why passengers were allowed off the Ruby Princess
“New South Wales Health was advised that passengers were isolated with flu-like symptoms,” he said on Wednesday morning.
“On March 18, the Department of Agriculture informed through Ruby Princess that a risk assessment had been conducted, and that it was low risk.
“They (NSW Health) had given clearance for all passengers to disembark the vessel. That red light has just gone green.”
Mr Outram said because the health department deemed the ship as “low-risk” it was allowed to dock into Sydney’s Circular Quay on March 19.
“As a result of that information, all of the passengers were given a green light to disembark.”
More than 130 people from the ship have tested positive for coronavirus after disembarking from the Ruby Princess last week, among them a woman in her 70s who died in hospital yesterday morning.
More to come