Advice for the cruise industry
The following advice provides health risk mitigation measures specific to NSW for all cruise vessels intending to enter or leave a NSW port.
All crew and passengers should monitor carefully for symptoms of COVID-19, influenza and other respiratory viruses throughout their cruise.
If symptoms develop, people should be tested for COVID-19, influenza and other respiratory viruses.
People who are unwell or test positive to COVID-19 or influenza (flu)
It is strongly recommended that people who have tested positive to COVID-19 or flu, or have acute respiratory or gastroenteritis (gastro) symptoms, stay in their cabin until they are well. If they must leave their cabin it is recommended they wear a mask, practice good hand hygiene, and avoid crowded spaces.
All domestic and international cruise vessels travelling to a NSW port should report acute respiratory and gastro to NSW Health.
All vessels should complete the Cruise vessel reporting template for acute respiratory and gastrointestinal infection (XLSX 595.15KB).
This should be sent to NSW Health (NSWH-MaritimeResponse@health.nsw.gov.au):
1. In the 12 - 24 hours prior to arrival.
- Vessels arriving in NSW from an international port must also complete the required Australian Government documentation within the indicated timeframes.
2. On transition to ‘High activity’ in Table 1.
- The Cruise vessel reporting template for acute respiratory and gastrointestinal infection (XLSX 595.15KB) should be sent to NSWH-MaritimeResponse@health.nsw.gov.au in the timeframes indicated.
After receipt of the Cruise vessel reporting template for acute respiratory and gastrointestinal infection, NSW Health will make contact with the shipping agent, master of the vessel, or the ship’s doctor if needed. This may include a request for additional information and further assessment.
NSW Health may recommend further risk mitigation measures in addition to those introduced by the vessel. This will depend on the status of the outbreak on board the vessel, and whether there is a new or emerging public health or clinical risk identified.
Table 1 – Outbreak thresholds for acute gastroenteritis, COVID-19, and other acute respiratory infections (ARI) for reporting purposes
All reporting times are in Australian Eastern Daylight-saving Time (AEDT).
These are in addition to mandatory reporting through the Biosecurity Act 2015.
|Activity level||% of Passengers and Crew Onboard that are either acute gastroenteritis, COVID-19, or ARI Cases1||Operational compromise||Reporting|
There may be minor impact to staffing and/or resources.
No impact to critical services (including healthcare, cleaning, core food and beverage services, engineering, and other services critical to the safe operation of the vessel)e.g. Staff may be required to work unrostered overtime, or be reallocated to support critical services.
Moderate or major impact to staffing and/or resources.
Able to maintain critical services with progression to being unable to maintain critical services and/or imminent cessation of critical services.
e.g. Reduced opening hours or closure of non-essential services (such as entertainment or recreational facilities) to support critical services. Leading to a critical loss in staffing or resources that cannot be compensated (such as healthcare workers, engineering staff, or shortages of PPE)]
1These percentages relate to either acute gastroenteritis, COVID-19 or ARI individually. When filled out correctly, the tables in ‘TAB 3 – Outbreak Status’ of the Cruise vessel reporting template for acute respiratory or gastrointestinal infection (XLSX 595.15KB) will determine this.
Safety policies and procedures
The cruise vessel’s safety policies and procedures should address all elements of the passenger and crew experience.
This should include, but is not limited to:
- Providing infectious diseases (including COVID-19 and influenza) testing for passengers and crew.
- Management of embarkation, disembarkation and shore excursions.
- Management of cases in crew and passengers while on board the vessel.
- Reporting and notification processes for test results that are positive for infectious diseases.
- Clinical assessment, support and evacuation procedures for passengers and crew with infectious diseases.
- Isolation capacity and processes for passengers and crew with infectious diseases.
- Environmental measures such as cleaning, ventilation and capacity limitations for all communal areas including dining areas, communal recreation, casinos, smoking areas, and theatres.