Britons to be forced into isolation on Vasco da Gama cruise ship when it reaches Australia

The Vasco da Gama cruise liner is expected to arrive in Australia on Friday in the port city of Fremantle. The huge cruise ship is carrying 950 passengers and 550 crew, including 33 Britons. The Australian passengers, which make up 800 passengers, will be allowed to disembark from the ship and take to a nearby island called Rottnest.

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Once there, they will be put into a 14-day period of quarantine to make sure that if they have coronavirus it does not spread.

However, the 33 Britons also on board the ship will be forced to remain there until they can be flown directly back to the UK, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan told reporters: “All crew and foreign nationals will remain on the ship until arrangements are made to fly them directly out of the country.

“They will not be allowed to disembark at any time, unless it is to travel under strict supervision, directly to the airport, or they need urgent medical attention to survive.”

The ship is owned by Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) who recently said they will be suspecting all their cruises until April 24.

CMV also said it had no health concerns for anyone on board the vessel, according to newspaper The Australian.

The cruise ship owners also said that not one person has left the liner since March 14.

However, they did say that Australians and New Zealanders had boarded the Vasco da Gama on March 18 from one of CMV’s other liners, the Columbus.

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CEO of CMV Christian Verhounig said:“Due to this fast-evolving global pandemic, we are simply unable to continue performing our scheduled itineraries and to deliver the travel experience expected by our valued passengers.

“We have therefore taken the very difficult decision to temporarily suspend all cruises until Friday 24 April 2020 when we very much hope to be able to resume service.

“These are indeed challenging circumstances but rest assured, they will be overcome with fortitude and the minimum of disruption”.

Another two cruise ships have also been forced to divert after being told they cannot dock at Fremantle, according to ABC.

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Mr McGowan said the cruise ships, the Artania and the Magnifica, were currently anchored offshore.

The Artania reportedly has 25 people on board of have respiratory problems.

Mr McGowan added that one passenger on board the Artania had tested positive for coronavirus but that they had been tested after disembarking.

Western Australia have tested 10,783 people but only have 205 confirmed cases.

So far, they have only have one death.

Western Australia also has temporary new liquor restrictions.

Mr McGowan said on Twitter: “They are temporary and sensible measures that will help ensure our State is in a strong position to respond to COVID-19.Alcohol-related issues take up an enormous amount of resources in our health system.

“These are resources we simply cannot afford to spare during this time.”

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