B“MS Artania” cruise guests are not particularly welcome in Western Australia. “This ship has to move on immediately,” the head of state, Mark McGowan, scolded on Thursday. But now about 830 passengers of the German cruise ship are expected to go ashore to continue their journey. From there they will be flown back to Germany by charter flights by the end of the weekend. Those who have no symptoms should be escorted directly from the ship to the airport in Perth. According to the operator Phoenix Reisen from Bonn, the health authorities in Australia had detected the novel corona virus in seven passengers on Wednesday. There are five guests and two of the total of 500 crew members.
Most of the passengers on the ship are German. It is currently in front of Fremantle, a port city south of Perth. It was allowed to moor there after there was a medical emergency on board, which is said to have nothing to do with the corona virus. In Australia, however, a hot discussion has started about the admission of cruise ship passengers. The reason was the case of the cruise ship “Ruby Princess”, in which three people initially tested positive for the corona virus. All other passengers had been released from Sydney under the condition that they were quarantined at home. From there they then traveled on to their hometowns, which were spread all over the country.
In this way, the cruise ship had become one of the largest sources of infection for the Sars-CoV-2. 130 fellow travelers were later tested positive for the virus. The government of the State of New South Wales, the border authorities and the central government had blamed each other for the debacle. In Western Australia, Prime Minister McGowan said he did not want another “fiasco” in his state like that in Sydney. The “MS Artania” is not the only ship there that wants to bring its passengers ashore. The “Vasco de Gama” and the “MSC Magnifica” are also waiting to be allowed to moor. Both ships have no proven infections on board.
In Australia, the number of people infected has increased to more than 3,000 in the past few days. According to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, two-thirds of these cases are foreign returns. As a result, his government tightened the quarantine measures on Friday. As of Sunday, all travelers who have to go into quarantine for two weeks are no longer allowed to do so within their own four walls, but are accommodated in hotels and quarantine facilities. The Australian states bear the costs for this.