Ship sail

Australia lifts cruise ship ban

Australia will today lift its two-year pandemic-induced ban on cruise ships entering the country’s waters. The ban was instituted in

Australia lifts its ban on cruise ships. Photo: Bloomberg

Australia will today lift its two-year pandemic-induced ban on cruise ships entering the country’s waters.

The ban was instituted in 2020, after an arrival cruise ship ultimately left 30 passengers dead and 600 infected, ultimately leading to one in ten covid cases in Australia linked to the ship.

The resumption of cruises is an industry boon worth $3.7 billion to the Australian economy before the pandemic. The ban is estimated to have cost $7.4 billion over the past two years. It also perfectly feeds into centre-right Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s pro-business post-COVID recovery narrative ahead of the May 21 general election. Indeed, a cruise ship industry poll suggested that 48% of employees would have voted against his government if the ban had been extended.

Although Morrison’s ruling coalition trails the centre-left Labor Party in national polls, the election will hinge on swing votes in key fringe seats scattered across the country. While this cruise ship decision is unlikely to be the deciding factor in those votes, the post-pandemic recovery and growing business confidence narrative will put Morrison in a strong position heading into the May election. which will likely spur polls to tighten in the coming weeks.

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