Ship with COVID passengers to dock in Tas

November 04, 2022 05:41 PM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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A cruise ship carrying passengers with COVID-19 is set to arrive in Tasmania following a disruption brought on by extreme weather across eastern states.

About 2000 passengers aboard Carnival Australia vessel Coral Princess will call into the port of Burnie on Saturday after an outbreak of the virus.

A spokesman said a small number of guests had the virus but did not confirm the exact number.

"As a result of continued and proactive testing, the COVID-19 situation onboard Coral Princess has improved considerably in recent days with a significant number of guests being released from isolation after returning a negative Rapid Antigen Test," the company said in a statement on Friday.

Tasmania's public health director Mark Veitch said the state government has been working closely with the vessel operators ahead of its arrival.

Cruise operators must adhere to strict protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19 including guidance on vaccination, testing, mask wearing, outbreak management and communications.

All cruise passengers who test positive to the virus are required to isolate in their cabin for at least five days and must also return a negative test result prior to disembarking.

Saturday will mark the first major cruise ship to visit Burnie in nearly three years after borders were shut as the pandemic hit in 2020.

The cruise ship kicked off its 28-day around Australia itinerary in NSW on October 11 and arrived in Western Australia last week.

It was forced to skip a planned trip to Hobart due to severe weather and returns to Sydney on November 8.

Meanwhile in WA, the COVID-19 state of emergency has come to an end as the country braces for a new wave of infections.

WA's emergency powers expired overnight after more than two-and-a-half years.

They had been used by the McGowan government to take drastic measures earlier in the pandemic.

In a surprise move, the government has opted not to immediately enact replacement powers rushed through the Labor-controlled parliament last month.

The temporary declarations can be used to enforce mask-wearing and isolation requirements but do not allow for interstate travel bans.

Premier Mark McGowan has said the measures will only be activated when necessary but could be triggered by a spike in infections or the emergence of new variants.

Public hospitals will individually manage mask and visitor restrictions while still requiring staff and visitors to stay away when acutely unwell.

It comes as authorities warn of a fresh wave of infections as new variants spread across the nation.

"We are starting to see an increase of COVID-19 cases and changes in the variants circulating in NSW, which tells us we are entering the next COVID-19 wave," NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said.

"By looking at all the local information we have and what's happening overseas we believe COVID cases will rise in the coming weeks."

Dr Chant said several subvariants were circulating and while the BA.4 and BA.5 continued to be the most common, their dominance had diminished to 63 per cent.

There were 9707 people diagnosed in NSW in the week ending last Friday, an increase of 11.4 per cent on the previous week.


* NSW: 12,450 new cases, 24 deaths

* Victoria: 10,226 new cases, 23 deaths

* NT: 242 new cases, 2 deaths

* Queensland: 4,427 new cases, 14 deaths

* SA: 3797 new cases, 29 deaths

* ACT: 910 new cases, 1 death

* TAS: 1320 new cases, 5 deaths

* WA: 6874 new cases, 17 deaths.


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